asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will ask his Chief Medical Officer of Health to comment on the cushion car concept, developed by Dr. David Foster of Windlesham, Surrey, and currently being evaluated by the Transport and Road Research Laboratory.
Each day in Great Britain, road accidents are responsible for an average of 17 deaths and 200 serious injuries. In addition to the heavy burden of bereavement and suffering caused, they demand a major commitment of NHS resources. The Transport and Road Research Laboratory is evaluating measures to reduce road accidents and the severity of associated injuries and my right hon. Friend and I have encouraged both the departmental medical staff and staff in the NHS to collaborate with it in this work.In its latest form the cushion car concept, as well as including a seat-belt restraint system, proposes extensive interior padding and the possibility of redesigning any potentially hazardous components. The Transport and Road Research Laboratory has already developed cars displaying many of these characteristics by placing contracts with British Leyland and the Ford Motor Company. They have also developed a new technique for measuring the effectiveness of interior padding. The present stage of evaluation is too soon for the Chief Medical Officer to comment on the merits of the cushion car concept developed by Dr. David Foster as compared with other interior padding.We welcome the interest of health professionals in the prevention of injury from road accidents, and in all forms of prevention of sickness and injury.