Welcome to the Collections section of the Public Health Advocacy Institute's Motor Vehicle Hazards Archives Project.
The core work of this project is the acquisition, retention, organization and dissemination of key documents bearing on the history of a critically important public health area - injuries, including fatal injuries, caused or aggravated by hazardous motor vehicles, highways, and driver behavior. (For more information about the Archives project and materials available from the Archives, please contact the Motor Vehicle Archive Project at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Please be aware that some of the documents linked from the collection narratives are large in volume and may take considerable time to download to your computer. We have tried to subdivide the largest in order to speed downloads. Also, we suggest that you save wanted documents to your own computer in order to speed their opening in future.
Starting January 9, 2006, transcripts and reports documenting Congressional hearings that led to passage of the Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1966 - the landmark legislation to regulate auto safety - are being posted in a new "Legislative History Collection" . CLICK HERE for the current version of the Act. The first posting consists of five volumes of transcripts and appendices from the 1965-1966 Senate hearings at which industry representatives opposed enactment of regulatory laws and independent injury, engineering and policy experts documented the need for such laws.
Materials posted February 1, 2006, comprise the complete "regulatory reform" report issued in 1976 by a subcommittee of the House Commerce Committee, which focused on problems of NHTSA and other regulatory agencies.
Materials posted earlier in the "Lap Belt Restraint Collection" address the history of knowledge concerning hazards associated with two-point lap-only safety belts. Two-point lap-only safety belts were the only belt-type restraint systems provided in all or many automobile occupant seating positions through the 1990s, and as of the end of 2005 were still permitted in some seating positions. Their known injury-causing and injury-enhancing attributes were described in medical and engineering literature decades earlier, yet manufacturer practices and government regulations allowed them to be installed in new cars rather than lap-shoulder three-point belts, which provide greater distribution of forces on the body during a crash.
Materials in the "Rollover Collection", initiated October 25, 2005, address motor vehicle rollovers and resulting injuries. A major cause of this human harm is the designed-in instability of many SUVs and other Light Truck Vehicles, including vans and pickup trucks. The instability problem has been well known and thoroughly documented for decades, during which government has had numerous opportunities to take regulatory action to remedy the problem. (See, for example, VIDEO of early rollover tests.) Yet no standard to regulate vehicle stability had been adopted as of the end of 2005. Also provided in the Rollover Collection are documents demonstrating the feasibility of and need for roofs that adequately resist injurious crushing in rollovers. As of the end of 2005, NHTSA’s controversial proposal to amend its roof crush standard, FMVSS 216, was being sharply challenged by safety advocates and researchers as being far too weak, and by some manufacturers as being too strong. For details, visit the archives in the "Current Developments" section of this site.
Annual international "experimental safety vehicle/research safety vehicle" (ESV/RSV) conferences are forums for the exchange of motor vehicle safety information between experts from countries with programs of vehicle hazard reduction. Proceedings from the conferences include copies of all materials presented at them. Initial entries to the MVHAP’s "ESV/RSV Proceedings Collection" were made on February 26, 2006. See entries by clicking on the ESV/RSV Proceedings Collection link in the navigation column.
Noteworthy Documents, Bibliography
Documents of special interest that have not been categorized for inclusion in a specific collection will be found under the "Noteworthy Documents" heading. "Bibliography" is a list of useful foundational reading abotu injury control. Both groups of material can be accessed from the navigation links on the left-hand bar.