Concern over automobile safety was heightened by Ralph Nader's 1965 book alleging that unsafe automobile design (particularly the Chevrolet Corvair) was the major contributor to highway accidents. This led to the passage of the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act in 1965 and the Highway Safety Act the following year. Together they required safety features (seat belts, for example) installed in all motor vehicles and the development of comprehensive traffic safety pro-grams. Much like the government's regulation of air quality, these new safety standards made auto travel safer and led to a decline in highway fatalities.
End of an Era.
By the late 1960s foreign manufacturers—largely Volkswagen, Toyota, and Datsun—were once again putting pressure on Detroit. While the recession at decade's end hurt American auto firms because people delayed purchasing new domestic cars, it helped the foreign...
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