The government has recently unveiled SaferCar.Gov, a public database website that’ll allow anyone to look up the number of alleged deaths, injuries, and cases of property damage by vehicle. A law passed after the massive Firestone tire recall in 2000 requires manufacturers to provide data on all sorts of safety issues. This database was supposedly set up with that information so the government could detect potential problems early on.
The data on the site goes back to 2003 and is compiled and maintained by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In addition to the 21 automakers who report data to the system, there are a large number of tire manufacturers, motorcycle companies, and even child seat manufacturers reporting data on a quarterly basis. Check out some of the information from the site:
According to the website, during the first quarter (first 3 months) of 2008 GM reported. reported 52 deaths and 610 injuries; Ford reported 40 deaths and 340 injuries; and Chrysler reported 23 deaths and 149 injuries. As for foreign cars, Toyota reported 8 deaths and 106 injuries, Nissan: 7 deaths and 34 injuries; and Honda reported only 3 deaths and 22 injuries. Interesting statistics, but it’s important to remember that these numbers include unsubstantiated claims that have no legal meaning and couldn’t be used to confirm a safety problem anyway. In other words, these deaths and injuries aren’t proven to be the fault of automobiles at all, they’re only complaints from customers.