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Death by Rental Car: How the Houck Case Changed the Law

— April 11, 2017

The Power of People to Protect People is the message conveyed in the book Death by Rental Car: How the Houck Case Changed the Law, by Ben Kelley. People and lawyers need to know about ways that they can work together to protect others from harm. This is especially true when we are in an era of unbridled power of corporations to cause harm to people with too little protection by captive regulatory agencies of government. This book by Ben Kelley is an unfinished success story that too few people know about.

In the foreword, Ralph Nader describes this book as a “gripping story of two young women – sisters aged 24 and 20 – whose promising lives were snuffed out in a fiery, traumatic instant collision by their Chrysler PT Cruiser…and the tenacious effort by their parents and attorneys to hold accountable the rental car company that ignored a government recall for a lethal defect and the manufacturer that made the car.

You’ll read what a difference dedicated, persistent personal injury attorneys, on contingent fees, can make…

Finally, you’ll be so impressed, I believe, by Carol Houck’s mission, which is to obtain state and federal legislation that requires rental car companies to fix recalled vehicles before renting them out. She says ‘the mom in me knew there were going to be other kids, and, by golly, I wasn’t going to let Raechel & Jackie die in vain.’”

Death by Rental Car book cover
Death by Rental Car: How the Houck Case Changed the Law by Ben Kelley; image courtesy of

On October 7, 2004, the crash occurred. On December 4, 2015 the Raechel and Jacqueline Houck Safe Rental Car Act was signed into law for the U.S.

Death By Rental Car is available on

This is an unfinished Success Story as the deaths due to motor vehicle violence continue to occur and indeed rise in recent years.2



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