Car Safety Discount – Save Money on Car Insurance

Car Safety Discount – Just When You Thought You Couldn’t Save Anymore

You can save even more with a car safety discount. Check out these auto insurance discounts, and see how much you could save. As of May 1988, 32 states had enacted some form of mandatory seat-belt use law. Opposition to seat-belt use laws, on the ground that government should not interfere with people’s personal freedom to risk their lives if they so wish, has prevented passage of these laws in several states and led to campaigns aimed at repealing the seat-belt use laws in other states.

In 1970, the Department of Transportation issued a ruling that all U.S. cars be equipped with automatic restraints, effective July 1, 1973. However, a series of amendments, rescission and delays prevented air bags from becoming standard equipment on U.S. cars.

During this period, the insurance industry and other safety advocates pressed their case and after a decision in 1981 to rescind the passive restraint ruling altogether, they challenged the Departments action all the way to the Supreme Court.

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In addition to various auto insurance discounts, many carriers offer a Car Safety Discount. The DOT was ordered to reconsider its actions and in July 1984 it issued a new ruling which required cars to be equipped with automatic restraints (air bags or automatic seat belts) unless two- thirds of the U.S. population is covered by mandatory seat-belt use laws meeting certain requirements.

States then began passing seat-belt use laws but most of them failed to comply completely with the DOT requirements and thus could not be counted toward the total needed to void the requirement for automatic crash protection. It is now clear that the automatic restraint standard will not be rescinded, hereby assuring that air bags or automatic belts will be installed in all new cars starting in 1990. The production of air bag-equipped cars will jump from 480,000 in 1989 to 3.3 million in 1990.

Have the restraints been achieving their goal?

A recent Department of Transportation study of the effects of seat-belt use laws concluded that the laws had saved thousands of lives, but that far more lives could be saved if enforcement of the laws were stricter.

The primary emphasis from all sides regarding auto occupant restraints has involved front seat occupants—who are the most frequently injured in auto accidents—and the great majority of mandatory seat-belt use laws apply only to the driver and other front seat occupants. The government requires that back seats be equipped with lap seat belts, but not shoulder harnesses.

In December 1987, a 13-year-old boy sitting in the back seat of a car and wearing a lap seat belt was paralyzed as a result of an auto crash. He was awarded $3.3 million in a lawsuit against Ford Motor Co. The jury in the case found that Ford should have provided a shoulder harness and that the design of the lap seat belt was defective because the elastic in the belt caused it to ride up over the boys abdomen. Auto safety specialists expect the federal government to require shoulder harnesses for back seat occupants as well, an action recommended in a 1986 National Transportation Safety Board report.

In 1984, Wyoming became the 50th state to enact a compulsory child restraint law. These laws generally require that children below a certain age be restrained in special child safety seats. There is a growing realization in the insurance industry and among safety advocates that enforcement of these laws is poor in many states and that, in spite of the laws, many parents do not use child restraints. Nevertheless, from 1983 through the first half of 1987, child restraints have been credited with saving the lives of 800 children.

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