Do We Need Tort Reform For Car Safety Or Not?
In Europe, many car safety features come as standard, or otherwise optional, equipment on most vehicles. This includes laminated glass, rear view camera systems, side curtain airbags, advanced rear seat belt reminders, obstacle detection based on radar, and seat belts that come with pretension. Even though these same technologies are available for cars in the United States, they have achieved little meaningful market penetration here compared to their wild success in Europe. Tort reform is probably necessary to bring these safety equipment changes to the United States.
Tort Reform Explained
Tort reform refers to an alteration in the U.S. civil justice system. This change would place limits on tort lawsuits for failures in duties towards consumers and the resulting damage claims awarded. In doing this, it would lessen the negative impacts of lawsuits on the overall American economy.
How Tort Reform Affects Car Safety Equipment
Though it may not be immediately apparent as to why, the present Tort system discourages the U.S. applications of new safety features in cars, trucks, and SUV’s. Even while these devices have made great impacts on European cars and safety standards, they go practically ignored here. The suppliers of such safety equipment are practically all based in Europe as well. The reason for this is because of the litigious society that dominates the United States. This, coupled with the present day system of courts and the lawyer contingency payment system are the other big components of this.
Because the major car safety equipment suppliers, along with the major car manufacturers, are frightened of potentially expensive lawsuits should any of this equipment fail, they choose not to offer such equipment in the United States. Besides this, the car makers are fearful that numerous lawsuits might be brought against them for not having elected to include such safety equipment that was already on the market within their cars in times past.
Solving this problem could be accomplished by additional regulation. For example, cautiously written regulations could be created that said that American consumers may not file suits against the car manufacturers for not employing these types of safety equipment in the vehicles in past years. Crafting such regulation would not be easy or quick though.
Because of this, an easier way that is seen to solve the problem comes down to Tort Reform of the entire judicial and litigation friendly system. By limiting the exorbitant judgments that can be made against companies such as car manufacturers, the country should see the inclusion in new cars of these already proven pieces of safety equipment. Then, safety equipment might gradually become standard operating equipment on American cars over a little time.