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CU Expands Automotive Safety Efforts With Free Online Resources

March 8, 2004
Susan Herold (202) 462-6262

Organization launches rollover information & prevention Web site; Offers comparative data on vehicle blind spot danger

YONKERS, NY—To further its mission of protecting consumers in the automotive marketplace, Consumers Union is offering two new free online resources; a rollover information and prevention Web site, and a dedicated page on ConsumerReports.org where visitors can access CU’s growing list of blind spot measurements, currently totaling 59 test vehicles.
Since its inception in 1936, Consumers Union (CU) has been at the forefront of providing automotive safety information to consumers. The organization was one of the earliest champions of seat belts and also a leader in the testing of child car seats.
Reducing the Rollover Risk:
Visit www.ConsumersUnion.org/rollover

Consumers Union’s rollover site offers consumers information and key statistics on vehicle rollovers, the pervasiveness of the problem, technologies that can help prevent and reduce injuries such as electronic stability control, the government’s updated rollover ratings system, and CU’s long history on the issue.
Visitors to the site, www.consumersunion.org/rollover can share their stories and experiences and make their voices heard in the marketplace by communicating directly with key decision-makers.
“Consumers Union has been working to reduce the risks of rollover since 1988. This site is an important tool in educating consumers about this public health concern and what the government’s new dynamic rollover ratings mean to the car-buying public,” said R. David Pittle, Senior Vice-President for Technical Policy.
Preventing Backover Deaths:
Visit www.ConsumerReports.org/co/vehicleblindspots

Back-over accidents claim the life of a small child more than once a week on average in the U.S., according to Kids and Cars, a nonprofit safety group in Kansas that tracks these incidents. Blind spot measurements for 59 test vehicles are currently posted on www.ConsumerReports.org, along with a list of vehicles that offer backup aids—rear-view cameras and sensor systems designed to help detect the obstacles behind a vehicle. Sensors can be helpful in detecting the presence of older children; but CR’s testing has shown that they often do not detect the presence of very young children or pets.
Consumers Union has been working aggressively to urge automakers, legislators, and government regulators to make cars safer for children. Several bills currently pending in Congress would require that federal safety regulators take a number of new steps. These steps include tracking data in noncrash nontraffic events; fixing the power window loophole created by unsafe switch designs; and testing backup warning equipment and cameras. One bill would actually require that these devices be made standard equipment in all vehicles over the next few years, starting first with SUVs and pickup trucks. More information about the legislation is also available at www.ConsumersUnion.org.
“No family ever recovers from the loss of a child. We have the technology to prevent these tragedies. Now we need Congress’ help to insure that all families have access to it,” said Consumers Union’s Senior Safety Counsel Sally Greenberg.
CU EXPANDS AUTOMOTIVE SAFETY ONLINE – 04/04The material above is intended for legitimate news entities only; it may not be used for commercial or promotional purposes. Consumers Union, the publisher of Consumer Reports®, is an expert, independent nonprofit organization whose mission is to work for a fair, just, and safe marketplace for all consumers and to empower consumers to protect themselves. To achieve this mission, we test, inform, and protect. To maintain our independence and impartiality, CU accepts no outside advertising, no free test samples, and has no agenda other than the interests of consumers. CU supports itself through the sale of our information products and services, individual contributions, and a few noncommercial grants.