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 #26 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: How Can We Fix Youth Sports? – John O’Sullivan is Founder and CEO of Changing the Game Project and author of “Changing the Game: The Parents Guide to Raising Happy, High Performing Athletes and Giving Youth Sports Back to Our Kids.” We discuss overzealous adults in youth sports, the dangers of sport specialization, youth sports entrepreneurs and the profit-at-all-costs mindset, and the growing socio-economic gap in youth sports.
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Episode #25 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Physical Education Should Be a Critical Component of K-12 School Design – Michael Horn is co-founder of the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation.
Episode #24 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Mental Health and Athletes: Ending the Stigma – Nathan Braaten and Taylor Ricci are the founders of Dam Worth It, a non-profit created to end the stigma around mental health at colleges and universities through sport, storytelling, and community creation.
Episode #23 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Olympian Benita Fitzgerald Mosley Talks Title IX, Youth Sports and the Olympics.
Episode #22 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Rethinking Sports Fandom with Author Craig Calcaterra – We discuss Calcaterra’s new book “Rethinking Fandom: How to Beat the Sports-Industrial Complex at Its Own Game” and explore new ways to be a fan.
Episode #21 – League of Fans’ Sports Forum podcast: Chatting About a Broken Game With Baseball Writer Pedro Moura – Moura is a national baseball writer for Fox Sports. We discuss how and why the game of baseball is broken, what factors caused it, and offer a few thoughts on how to “fix” a great game.
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.
- League of Fans Sports Policy Director Ken Reed quoted in Washington Post column titled "What happened to P.E.? It’s losing ground in our push for academic improvement," by Jay Mathews
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.
Sports & Torts – Ken Reed, Sports Policy Director, League of Fans – at the American Museum of Tort Law
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