Lawsuits and Car Safety: Lawyers Should be Thanked
Over the past thirty plus years, automobiles in the United States have become safer. In large part, these safety advances were the result of people suffering serious catastrophic injuries in foreseeable automobile accidents and attorneys and other advocates standing up for these victims and demanding changes by the automotive industry. Now, in 2014, vehicles come equipped with more safety features than ever before and many of those features are a direct result of efforts by lawyers, consumer advocates, and victims fighting for safer vehicles.
In the age of tort reform (an industry backed effort to avoid accountability for bad actions), people often forget, or look past, the very real changes that lawyers and victims have caused to be enacted as the result of lawsuits. Cars for example are safer today than ever before. Defects that have led to the deaths or catastrophic injuries of thousands of people over the years are no longer incorporated in vehicles as they once were. Crash testing has become much more advanced. “Safety” is no longer pure marketing. And, most importantly, families are safer in vehicles than ever before.
There are still defective vehicles on the roadways and the auto industry still makes very bad deadly mistakes–just consider all the many safety recalls as of late. However, today is a good day to remember that our system has lawyers, lawsuits, and consumer advocates so that every one of us is safer. Our government was created to ensure that citizens could stand up and fight for changes and that these victims would have a voice in front of twelve peers to allow their grievances to be heard. As a direct result of that system, defects such as weak roofs, passive restraints, airbags that could decapitate, unguarded fuel tanks, defective seatbelts, and many other defects are no longer present in our vehicles.
There are many brave families that should be thanked for ensuring that our roads and vehicles are safer today than they once were. Most of these families suffered awful tragedies that could have been prevented if cars were better equipped to keep occupants safe in foreseeable accidents. When you vote or when you think about lawyers or lawsuits, at the very least, remember that when you get in your car, those same people and that system are to thank for your vehicle being safer than ever before.