The Vehicle Safety Research Information Center is a collaboration between vehicle safety advocate and researcher Sean Kane and software developer Stephen Foley.
Mr. Kane began his work in 1991 with the Center for Auto Safety, the advocacy organization established by Ralph Nader in Washington D.C. As a co-founder of Strategic Safety, and later, as founder and president of Safety Research & Strategies, Inc., Mr. Kane has remained at the forefront of safety issues and trends.
Mr. Kane is a well-known advocate whose work on behalf of clients and the motoring public has prompted numerous federal investigations, aided in the successful resolution of important litigation, and alerted the public to significant vehicle safety hazards. His investigations and analyses of vehicle defects have led to recalls of millions of vehicles and components that have inflicted serious and deadly injuries to consumers, ranging from heater core ruptures, engine fires, failed electronics, and tires.
Mr. Kane was instrumental in revealing the Ford Explorer/Firestone tire defects in the U.S. His research exposed Ford's overseas recalls to the public in July 2000 and led to four campaigns to recall the tires.
Mr. Kane is a frequent source and commentator to the broadcast and print media and continues to monitor government activities and data.
The VSIRC is culmination of researching, uncovering, and understanding the uses of government safety data and documents, says Kane. “I am particularly pleased to provide data and documents that are traditionally hard to use and locate in a cost-effective and easy-to-use format. The VSIRC gives researchers and professionals the ability to locate and analyze information in new ways – ways that will improve how we look at motor vehicle safety issues.”
Mr Foley has worked in software development for more than 25 years. He has developed numerous legal software products including diary, accounting, transcript analysis and online research products.
Mr. Foley was the head of the Livenote development team for six years, prior to the company being sold to Thomson West. The Livenote product (www.livenote.com) has been very successful in enabling lawyers to search and annotate transcripts.
He has also been involved with the development of the online research product called iCyte (www.icyte.com), a tool that simplifies online research across the internet and any online databases. The iCyte product can be used in conjunction with the VSIRC to support collaborative research.
Mr. Foley says the VSIRC development has been a challenge due to the enormous amount of data which had to be sanitized, the creating of a simple interface across a complex data set, while achieving Google-like search speeds. As the product continues to evolve, he believes users will find that the VSIRC represents a vast improvement in the ease-of-use and the quality of data returned when compared with the search mechanisms offered by NHTSA.