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Has the government shutdown impacted vehicle safety?

There has been a lot of discussion in the news the past two weeks about which government agencies and services have and have not been shut down a result of the budget and debt ceiling impasse. And, even as the shutdown may be nearing an end with leaders in the Senate saying that they have reach a compromise, there are many who remain concerned that the consequences of the government shutdown could last beyond the time when all of the offices re-open their doors since it will take time to catch up from missed work.

One area where this is particularly concerning is the area of vehicle safety. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has had to send home more than half of its workforce, meaning that there are fewer inspectors and other regulators available to investigation unusual car crashes, review safety data, and issue recall notices.

These safety concerns have caused some lawmakers to attempt to put together small provisional bills to get the agency back up and running but new outlets have not indicated that any of those measures have passed.

Of course, the government shutdown doesn’t mean there will be a temporary pause from car accidents related to a larger safety issue such as a product defect. California residents who are impacted by these types of accidents may have to wait longer for government inspections and investigations, but they can still seek help from personal injury specialists to conduct their own investigation into the causes of a crash.

Source: Christian Science Monitor, "Government shutdown puts NHTSA car safety tests on hold," Richard Read, Oct. 11, 2013. 

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