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Saving Gas Via Underpowered Death Traps

Harperdog (1754264) writes | more than 2 years ago

Science 5

Harperdog (1754264) 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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5 comments

Wait...what?! (1)

sureshot007 (1406703) | more than 2 years ago | (#36999496)

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. Why can't insurance companies lobby for stricter licensing instead of safer cars???

Re:Wait...what?! (1)

Deadstick (535032) | more than 2 years ago | (#37000300)

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.

rj

Re:Wait...what?! (1)

sureshot007 (1406703) | more than 2 years ago | (#37000364)

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.

Get rid of the old guzzlers. (1)

Teun (17872) | more than 2 years ago | (#37000250)

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.

Re:Get rid of the old guzzlers. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#37002206)

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

Non-essential is incredibly subjective and nobody else's business. What's next if the government gets to regulate based upon what it thinks your essentials are? They get to decide what size house you live in or what you are permitted to eat?

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