Bloch Opines: Auto Industry Lags in Safety Glazing; Should
Have Implemented Laminated Sidelites Years Ago
Noted auto safety expert Byron Bloch, keynote speaker for the 2006 AGRSS
Conference, has appeared as an auto safety consultant on such television
news programs as ABC News' "20/20," "Primetime Live" and "Nightline" as
well as CBS News' "60 Minutes" and "Public Eye" and NBC News' "Dateline
NBC." He has been a safety expert for 30 years, consulting and testifying
in court cases regarding auto defects, and he is a court-qualified expert
in auto safety design and vehicle crashworthiness and has testified at
Congressional hearings and to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
He recently spoke with AGRR magazine about automotive safety and
specifically the role of glass, addressing, among other things, the use
of laminated and safety glazing in vehicles. The following is an excerpt
from the interview, which will run in full in the next issue of AGRR.
AGRR: Where do you think in the near-term future the question of
safety and glazing as well as overall safety in vehicles is going?
BB: When I say there is a lot to be done, let me say that I find
it amazing that there is a 20 to 30 year gap between when a safety technology
is feasible and able to be implemented and when it is in general use by
vehicle manufacturers. One example is that in 1973 GM mass produced a
fleet of 1,000 Chevy Impalas with airbags for the driver and front seat
passenger. It was a dual-pressure system that inflated more softly in
low speed crashes and more firmly in high-speed crashes in order to avoid
risk to small children who might be on the front seat. I own one of those
Impalas. That technology was installed and it was a marvelous technology
for its time. It was withdrawal from the market after a short period and
it was many years before airbags came back into our mass-produced vehicles.
Imagine all the lives that were severely affected by this gap in time.
The industry is moving very quickly into side window glazing. It can and
should have been done 20 or 30 years ago. Certainly it is commendable
that laminated sidelites and backlites are being put into vehicles. I'm
encouraging that this type of window be made standard equipment as soon
as practicable in all vehicles. The combination of laminated side glazing
in all passenger vehicles in conjunction with side curtain airbags will
significantly decrease injury and death in side impact collisions and
Your industry might want to take a look at the retrofit of these systems.
Someone who has an older vehicle they intend to keep for a few years might
want laminated sidelites in their vehicle. It would be good if they could
have that glass replaced with laminated glass that fits into the same
track as the tempered glass.
Bloch will give the keynote address at the AGRSS Conference on Wednesday,
November 1 at 9:15 a.m. at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. The AGRSS Conference
runs concurrently with the Auto Glass Expo @ NACE and several other key
auto glass industry events.
CLICK HERE for more
information on the AGRSS Conference.
For more information about Byron Bloch and his work with automotive safety,
visit his web site at www.AutoSafetyExpert.com.