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Mike Anderson

mike anderson autobody newsMike Anderson is the president and owner of Collision Advice, a consulting company for the auto body/collision repair industry. For nearly 25 years, he was the owner of Wagonwork Collision Center, an OEM-certified, full-service auto body repair facility in Alexandria, VA.

 
Tuesday, 05 July 2022 11:35

From the Desk of Mike Anderson: Collision Repair Shops Play Vital Role in Helping Reduce Vehicle-Related Deaths

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I read a sobering article in The Washington Post recently that I think offers some insights into where vehicle technology is likely headed.

The article featured an interview with Jeffrey Michael, who spent three decades at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and is now at the Johns Hopkins Center for Injury Research and Policy.

 

He’s a car guy. The article said when he’s home, he likes to tinker on the 1987 Porsche 911 he bought as a fixer-upper. While he was with NHTSA, he worked on issues related to seat belts, child restraints, drunken driving and emergency medical services.

 

But the article also said this:

 

“Michael saw the ability of federal programs to influence safety and cites a gradual reduction in road deaths over 50 years. But in an interview with The Washington Post---days after new NHTSA figures showed fatalities hitting a 16-year high---Michael pointed to the nation’s failure and potential fixes.”

 

Make sure you read that again. Roadway fatalities have reached a 16-year high.

 

You have to believe NHTSA and other regulators are going to place an even greater emphasis on vehicle and roadway safety. You have to believe the automakers are going to be pushing forward on getting more and better ADAS and telematics features into vehicles. That’s going to impact the vehicles we have coming into shops.

 

Michael also noted in the interview, “To improve things, we’re going to need to individually make concessions about convenience, about driving a little slower, about taking a little more care, about personal responsibility, of using our seat belts, of driving at or below the speed limit, of driving responsibly, certainly driving without impairment, without fatigue, without distraction.”

 

The “using our seat belts” portion of that quote caught my eye. Our industry has a vital obligation to make sure those seat belts have been inspected after a vehicle has been in an accident. Every automaker has very specific requirements about this.

 

Even when General Motors revamped its post-collision vehicle inspection requirements, for example, its stance on seat belts did not change. GM wants...


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