How The U.S. Government Killed The Safest Car Ever Built

500x_rsv_safety_car_openAh, somehow this isn’t even a surprise: the U.S. government commissioned the creation of a car far safer than those offered by auto companies, and then covered it up. From Jalopnik:

Thirty-five years ago, the U.S. government built a fleet of cars that were safer than anything on the road. Twenty-five years ago, the government shredded them in secret. Two escaped the crusher. This is their story.

For a piece of American-built iron from the depths of the Carter administration, the 14 Minicar Research Safety Vehicles had a massive amount of technology. The fender and front fascia were plastic composites that could take a 10-mph smack unscathed. Under the plastic body of the most advanced version were run-flat tires, anti-lock brakes with crash-sensing radar and dual-stage airbags.

Test drives scored about 32 miles to the gallon, but test crashes suggested passengers might walk away from most crashes up to 50 mph with minimal injuries. NHTSA officials claimed thousands of lives a year could be saved if Minicar tech became standard.

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  • Anonymous

    Best line of the piece over at Jalopnik?

    “The result looked like an AMC Pacer worked over by the set designers of Battlestar Galactica.” LOL.

    Well, yet another good idea killed by the Reagan Administration…. along with about 70,000 lives or so. But hey, why even TRY to be competitive in the auto marketplace? I mean, where would significant technological and safety advances get us?

    And I thought their removal of the solar panels Carter installed on the roof of the White House was an arrogant, bone-headed move. I swear, you can always count on conservobots to up the stupid threshold….

  • 5by5

    Best line of the piece over at Jalopnik?

    “The result looked like an AMC Pacer worked over by the set designers of Battlestar Galactica.” LOL.

    Well, yet another good idea killed by the Reagan Administration…. along with about 70,000 lives or so. But hey, why even TRY to be competitive in the auto marketplace? I mean, where would significant technological and safety advances get us?

    And I thought their removal of the solar panels Carter installed on the roof of the White House was an arrogant, bone-headed move. I swear, you can always count on conservobots to up the stupid threshold….

  • Dmitry

    You can’t save everyone. Life is a risk. You can just as easily die by tripping over your cat and hitting your head on an endtable. Perhaps we should design a safer cat.

  • Dmitry

    You can’t save everyone. Life is a risk. You can just as easily die by tripping over your cat and hitting your head on an endtable. Perhaps we should design a safer cat.

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