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NEW BROCHURE COMPARES HEAD INJURY PROTECTION FOR NEW CARS, TRUCKS

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NEW BROCHURE COMPARES HEAD INJURY PROTECTION FOR NEW CARS, TRUCKS

NHTSA
November 16, 1999

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NHTSA 57-99
Tuesday, November 16, 1999
Contact: NHTSA, Kathie Klass, (202) 366-9550

Announcing a new brochure, Buying a Safer Car 2000, containing valuable vehicle safety information for consumers, U.S. Transportation Secretary Rodney E. Slater today cited head injury protection systems -- an innovation judged by experts to be the most effective since seat belts and air bags -- as a key safety feature consumers should strongly consider.

"Buying A Safer Car 2000 provides important safety information that consumers should consider when shopping for a new family car," Secretary Slater said. "It is another product of our efforts to improve safety, which is President Clinton's highest transportation priority."

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, head injury protection systems are expected to save up to 1200 lives and prevent nearly 1000 serious head injuries every year.

A one-stop-shop for new car buyers, Buying a Safer Car 2000 offers useful buying and safety information, including crash test ratings. There is also a comprehensive list of new model vehicles indicating which have head protection systems and other safety features.

A recent federal safety standard, head injury protection, which effectively requires either head air bags or shock absorbing materials hidden beneath the trim, will be mandatory in new cars by 2003. It is being phased in over the next five years, and is already available in more than 25 percent of new vehicles. But for most car buyers, there's a catch: head injury protection systems are usually hidden within the interior trim of the vehicle, making them difficult to spot.

"Because some safety features are not easily identifiable, we want to ensure that consumers have reliable, detailed information before making a decision about the vehicles they purchase," said Rosalyn G. Millman, acting administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). "That is why we make this information available through the Buying a Safer Car 2000 brochure and our web site."

Consumers can get a free copy of Buying a Safer Car 2000 by calling 1-888-DASH-2-DOT or by visiting NHTSA's web site at http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/cars/testing/ncap/ and clicking on Buying a Safer Car 2000.

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