Design: Relative Safety

In terms of safety the ideal car for today's superhighways is very likely an eight-wheeled box lined with foam rubber and plated with several feet of armor; the driver should be strapped in like an astronaut in a space capsule.

Detroit is not about to market such a monster. But General Motors President John F. Gordon grumbled last week that "amateur engineers" are trying to impose federal regulation of safety design that is just about as realistic.

"To begin with," said Gordon, addressing a meeting of the National Safety Congress in Chicago, "it is completely unrealistic even to talk about a foolproof...

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