After the U.S. president’s recent comments about the alleged “bowling ball test” employed by Japan to prevent American-made automobiles from being sold by the country, everyone is asking what this strange test could be. The bowling ball test (and other tests like it) are the means by which countries test whether vehicles are equipped with pedestrian-friendly features that could prevent catastrophic and fatal injuries to people on foot.
The problem for American automakers — and the reason why the president highlighted the bowling ball test in Japan — is that these nations have vehicle safety standards that negatively affect the ability of American carmakers to remain globally competitive. These regulations, in turn, are causing Americans employed in the automotive industry to lose their jobs.
In terms of pedestrian safety, however, there’s a flip side to this. As long as U.S. carmakers refuse to apply these pedestrian safety standards to their vehicles, these cars will unnecessarily endanger the lives of many pedestrians.
Wouldn’t it make sense, then, from both a financial and safety perspective for carmakers to conform with these pedestrian safety rules? Not only would these features save many pedestrian lives in the United States and throughout the world, but they would also allow cars to be sold in other nations, thus benefiting American car makers and Americans in general by boosting the economy.
Was your loved one killed in a pedestrian versus automobile collision? These tragic accidents are common, unfortunately. In many cases, surviving family members can pursue wrongful death claims against the vehicle drivers who caused their loved one’s deaths.
Source: CNN, “Trump accuses Japan of using ‘bowling ball test’ on cars; White House says he was joking,” Veronica Stracqualursi and Peter Valdes-Dapena, March 15, 2018