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Submission + - Saving Gas Via Underpowered Death Traps (miller-mccune.com) 5

__aaqpaq9254 writes: Yes, it’s true that the fuel-economy standards the U.S. has been using cost lives. Economist Mark Jacobson has estimated that for every mile-per-gallon we raise the standards, 149 traffic fatalities occur per year. That would mean 1,490 deaths if the standards were raised from, say, 30 miles-per-gallon to 40. But this doesn’t have to be the case. It’s possible, Jacobson has concluded, to increase fuel efficiency without also decreasing safety. And if government officials are smart, they’ll tailor the regulations behind the new standards to do this.
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Saving Gas Via Underpowered Death Traps

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  • So if I drive a fuel efficient car, I'm going to die? That doesn't make any sense at all. There is no cause and effect, or even correlation here.

    You know what would save lives on the road? Requiring people to learn how to friggin' drive! The requirements in the US for a driver's license are so minimal, that I'm amazed more people aren't killed on a daily basis. The fact that we have to make a law to tell people no drive and text is absurd. People die on the road because they get into accidents. Wh
    • There is no cause and effect, or even correlation here

      Get in your 30 mpg car, have a head-on accident with a 15 mpg car, and see if you can find a correlation between the gas mileage and who walks away.


      • Fine. I'll jump in a new Honda, and have a collision with anything from the late 70s or early 80s. How much do you want to bet I'm walking away? New cars are designed to withstand crashes better than in the past. And with active restraint systems, people are more likely to survive than the days when you only had a lap belt. There is a lot more that goes into this equation than just fuel efficiency. That was my point. My apologies if I didn't outline that better in my first post.
  • The risk is not caused by the fact the new cars would be underpowered but instead by large differences in mass compared to antiquated gas guzzlers.

    Usually this is more than made up for by the effective crumple zones of the modern smaller car, so the story reeks of self interest by a non-innovative section of the US automotive industry.

    The problem is the non-essential trucks and SUV's.

...there can be no public or private virtue unless the foundation of action is the practice of truth. - George Jacob Holyoake