The Book That Put Auto Safety Up Front Turns 50

Ralph Nader’s “Unsafe at Any Speed” exposed auto design flaws and changed attitudes about auto safety.

A book published in 1965 changed the auto industry and turned consumer advocate Ralph Nader into a household name. The book, “Unsafe at Any Speed”, uncovered problems with the Chevrolet Corvair, one of General Motors‘ most popular cars in the 1960s. Nader argued the car’s swing-axle suspension made it susceptible to oversteering and loss of control while turning corners. GM was already facing more than 100 lawsuits over crashes involving Corvairs when the book was published. Paul Eisenstein, publisher of, tells WDET’s Pat Batcheller that the book transformed the way automakers, politicians, and consumers thought of vehicle safety. Click on the audio player to hear the conversation.

A British study estimates 20 million self-driving vehicles will be on the road within 10 years. Read Paul Eisenstein’s article here.


  • Pat Batcheller
    Pat Batcheller is a host and Senior News Editor for 101.9 WDET, presenting local news, traffic and weather updates during Morning Edition. He is an amateur musician.