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Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards Set Minimum Standards for Car Safety

Car accidents take far too many lives each year. Defective or unreasonably dangerous car parts can cause additional injuries. With these facts in mind, the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1966 gave the Department of Transportation (DOT) the responsibility to create comprehensive Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards. Known as FMVSS for short, the standards provide a bare minimum level of safety that cars must meet.

The FMVSS has been revised many times since its creation in the 1960s. Today, standards cover nearly every part of a vehicle. Standards exist to cover obvious safety issues, such as how sturdy seat belts must be or the amount of force the vehicle’s frame must be able to withstand. They also cover less-obvious safety issues, such as how the vehicle’s controls must be labeled and which ones should be lit up when the vehicle’s headlights are on so that drivers can still see and operate the controls at night.

Finally, the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards also cover how a vehicle must respond after a crash. These rules include information on what fabrics to use so that vehicles are flame-retardant and how fuel systems should be designed to avoid the risk of an explosion after a crash.

Car designers are allowed to make cars safer than the FMVSS requires. However, car companies may not sell cars that are less safe than the FMVSS require. A driver injured by a car that doesn’t meet the FMVSS minimum standards may be able to seek compensation from the car company for manufacturing a dangerous vehicle.

If you’ve been injured by an unsafe or defectively made or maintained vehicle, please don’t hesitate to contact the experienced NH car accident attorneys at Tenn And Tenn, P.A. For a free and confidential telephone consultation, call us today at (888) 332-5855.

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