Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Increasing Miles Per Gallon Will Decrease Automobile Safety

From The Wall Street Journal article, "SUVs: Safer, Heavier, But What About the Gas?" by Joseph B White:
The Obama administration has promised to roll out by Sept. 1 a proposal to boost the average fuel economy of vehicles sold in the U.S. from 35 miles per gallon—the target for 2016—to as much as 62 mpg by 2025....

At the same time, federal officials are struggling to figure out how this can be accomplished without reversing the sharp reductions in highway fatalities achieved during the past decade.

Making a heavy vehicle lighter will improve efficiency—but it can make a vehicle less protective of its occupants unless other vehicles slim down in proportion. Even if all new vehicles are made lighter, but share the road with older, heavier vehicles, the people in newer vehicles could suffer, safety researchers say.
"To reduce enough to have an effect on mileage, you'll have an effect on safety," says Gloria Bergquist of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, the industry's Washington trade group.

1 comment :

  1. The best way to increase the miles per gallon is to increase the tax on gasoline and diesel quite drastically e.g. to European levels. This will influence driving behaviour, the purchase of more fuel efficient cars and so the research on fuel efficiency. Use the tax to fund the research.