By Ken Reed
Tiger Woods faces a long recovery from multiple leg injuries but I imagine he is very thankful that his horrific single-car accident didn’t result in much more serious injuries or even in his death.
Woods is in relatively good shape today because of several safety features in the Genesis GV80 vehicle he was driving, including a seat belt, airbags and a reinforced roof that helped protect Woods’ body as the vehicle rolled over.
The foundation of auto safety features like these is Ralph Nader’s 1965 book Unsafe at Any Speed: the Designed-In Dangers of the American Automobile. The book highlighted a variety of unsafe auto design practices of automakers in general. In particular, it focused on how unsafe General Motors’ Corvair was. The book became a national bestseller and the general public became much more aware of the unsafe design of most automobiles in the 1960’s. The book also pointed out numerous safety features that could — and should — be part of the design of automobiles going forward.
Unsafe at Any Speed pushed Congress to act. The book led to a series of Congressional hearings and a Senate committee report found “disturbing evidence of the automobile industry’s chronic subordination of safe design to promotional styling.” Several landmark auto safety laws were subsequently passed under the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act. A new agency, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration was also formed to develop safety standards and design improvements in the industry. In addition, Nader formed the Center for Auto Safety.
Since these safety measures were passed, the number of deaths from automobile accidents in the United States has fallen from 5.50 per 100 million vehicular miles travelled in 1966, to 3.34 in 1980 and 1.12 by 2015. Studies have estimated from 600,000 to 3.5 million lives have been saved over that time period.
Nader’s life-long consumer advocacy has led to safer cars. We can all thank him for his examination and critiques of the auto industry and the fact safety features like seat belts, airbags and anti-lock brakes are pretty much standard in the industry today.
Tiger Woods might go a step further and thank Nader for his life.
— Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans
Sports Forum Podcast
Episode #8 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: How Can We Save College Sports From Overcommercialization and Professionalization? – The guest is Dr. David Ridpath, a sports business professor and past president of the Drake Group, whose mission is to defend academic integrity in higher education from the corrosive aspects of commercialized college sports.
Follow on Facebook: @SportsForumPodcast
Episode #7 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Brain Trauma and CTE Risk in Sports With Dr. Ann McKee – Dr. McKee works in the field of neuropathology and has demonstrated that “mild” repetitive head trauma can provoke chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a devastating neurodegenerative disease.
Episode #6 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: The Need for Quality Physical Education in Our Schools is Greater Than Ever – The guest is Clayton Ellis, one of our nation’s leading advocates for getting our young people to be more physically active.
Episode #5 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Youth Sports with Positive Coaching Alliance Founder Jim Thompson – Thompson started Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) in 1998 to help create a movement to transform the culture of youth sports from “win-at-all-costs” to a positive, character-building experience.
Episode #4 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: The Biggest Issue in Sports Today? Brain Trauma – The guest is Patrick Hruby, a journalist who has done extensive research and in-depth writing on the topic of brain trauma in sports, most notably football.
Episode #3 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Coaching Styles with Sports Sociologist Jay Coakley – The guest is veteran sports sociologist Jay Coakley, a former college athlete who went on to earn a Ph.D. in Sociology from Notre Dame.
Media"How We Can Save Sports" author Ken Reed appears on Fox & Friends to explain how there's "too much adult in youth sports."
Ken Reed appears on Mornings with Gail from KFKA Radio in Colorado to discuss bad parenting in youth athletics.
“Should College Athletes Be Paid?” Ken Reed on The Morning Show from Wisconsin Public Radio
Ken Reed appears on KGNU Community Radio in Colorado (at 02:30) to discuss equality in sports and Title IX.
Ken Reed appears on the Ralph Nader Radio Hour (at 38:35) to discuss his book The Sports Reformers: Working to Make the World of Sports a Better Place, and to talk about some current sports issues.
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
League of Fans is a sports reform project founded by Ralph Nader to fight for the higher principles of justice, fair play, equal opportunity and civil rights in sports; and to encourage safety and civic responsibility in sports industry and culture.
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