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50 DESIGN007 MAGAZINE I JANUARY 2022 Cars were a lot less safe for automotive con- sumers back in the 1950s and '60s. Besides including seats without seatbelts and non-col- lapsing steering wheel columns, the cars of my childhood era sported solid steel dashboards with plenty of glaring, distractive chrome. Every dashboard boasted a cigarette lighter and ashtray, allowing the driver to completely fill the passenger area with second-hand smoke while their kids bounced around unrestrained on the rear bench seat mounted directly above the gas tank. Design emphasis was more on futuristic styl- ing and less on safety. e 1957 Chevy Bel-Air and the 1961 Cadillac Biarritz may have been stylish and powerful, but they didn't have any- thing like today's crumple zones. In fact, most cars of that era were made of heavy steel and old-fashioned glass that could shatter during a collision and harm the car's occupants. It wasn't until later in the '60s and '70s that car manufacturers were required to use improved laminated windshields that could withstand greater impacts without breaking loose and posing a mortal threat during a collision. Automotive safety issues like the ones I've described were highlighted in a book entitled Unsafe at Any Speed: e Designed-In Dangers of the American Automobile, published in 1965 by a 32-year-old lawyer named Ralph Nader. In his book, Nader took aim at the auto makers of Detroit. He accused them of ignoring issues of automotive design safety for reasons of cost and failing to incorporate what we might term Mitigating Potential for High-Voltage Injury Target Condition Feature Column by Kelly Dack, CIT, CID+

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