Is improved Fuel Effeciency worth the cost in lives?
+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 5 12345 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 45
Like Tree3Likes

Thread: Is improved Fuel Effeciency worth the cost in lives?

  1. #1
    Posting Addict GloriaInTX's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    7,732

    Default Is improved Fuel Effeciency worth the cost in lives?

    Is requiring increased fuel economy worth the cost when it is proven that it will cause increased deaths from auto accidents?

    WASHINGTON, DC ? The Obama Administration today finalized groundbreaking standards that will increase fuel economy to the equivalent of 54.5 mpg for cars and light-duty trucks by Model Year 2025. When combined with previous standards set by this Administration, this move will nearly double the fuel efficiency of those vehicles compared to new vehicles currently on our roads. In total, the Administration?s national program to improve fuel economy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions will save consumers more than $1.7 trillion at the gas pump and reduce U.S. oil consumption by 12 billion barrels
    Obama Administration Finalizes Historic 54.5 MPG Fuel Efficiency Standards | The White House


    To improve fuel economy, auto makers primarily reduce the size and power of vehicles. Unfortunately, this downsizing has tragic consequences (See Figure) . As far back as 1989, consumer advocate Ralph Nader admitted that "larger cars are safer - there is more bulk to protect the occupant." Numerous studies have proved this point. For example:
    ?Researchers at Harvard University and the Brookings Institution found that, on average, for every 100 pounds shaved off new cars to meet CAFE standards, between 440 and 780 additional people were killed in auto accidents - or a total of 2,200 to 3,900 lives lost per model year. [See the figure.]
    ?National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) data indicate that 322 additional deaths per year occur as a direct result of reducing just 100 pounds from already downsized small cars, with half of the deaths attributed to small car collisions with light trucks/sport utility vehicles.
    ?Using data from the NHTSA and the Insurance Institute for Traffic Safety, USA Today calculated that size and weight reductions of passenger vehicles undertaken to meet current CAFE standards had resulted in more than 46,000 deaths.

    Since the laws of physics will not change, requiring all vehicles to be smaller increases everyone's overall risk of death or injury in auto accidents. Insurance data bear this out; occupants of small cars do worse than passengers of larger sedans, minivans or sport utility vehicles (SUVs) in every kind of accident.
    CAFE's Three Strikes - It Should be Out | NCPA
    Mom to Lee, Jake, Brandon, Rocco
    Stepmom to Ryan, Regan, Braden, Baley
    Granddaughters Kylie 10/18/2010 & Aleya 4/22/2013


    I never consider a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosopy, as a cause for withdrawing from a friend. --Thomas Jefferson

  2. #2
    Posting Addict ClairesMommy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    12,517

    Default

    Without sounding callous, I think yes, it is worth it. I don't look at reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and the total depletion of every non-renewable resource on this planet in how much I'm going to save at the pump. I look at it from the perspective of actually having a planet that will be capable of sustaining life.

    Further, as technology advances I believe that huge improvements will be made in safety-related design of smaller cars. This isn't a static issue - all the pros and cons to improved fuel efficiency will continue to evolve over the coming years. With the status quo, yes, I see the potential for an increase in the number of injuries or deaths related just to the size of the car, but I don't think those statistics will rise or even remain the same.

  3. #3
    Posting Addict Alissa_Sal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Debating Away on the Debate Board!
    Posts
    11,770

    Default

    I also wonder if it will be safer to drive a smaller car when all of the cars on the road are smaller and lighter? I used to drive a Geo, and looking at my little car against some of these huge SUVs, it was easy to tell who was going to lose if I ever ran in to one. I drive a normal sized car now, and would actually feel a bit safer on the roads if all of the other cars were also normal sized, and I wasn't up against Expeditions and Hummers.
    -Alissa, mom to Tristan (5) and Reid (the baby!)

    Got an opinion? We've got a board! Come join us for some lively debate on the Face Off! Debate Arena board.

  4. #4
    Posting Addict ClairesMommy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    12,517

    Default

    I don't think that increased fuel efficiency can necessarily to be the only factor here. What about the economic situation of the driver? Despite the fact that smaller cars are more fuel efficient, they also tend to be considerably cheaper. While increased fuel efficiency is definitely a benefit of driving a smaller car, some people drive them because it's what they can afford. Safety does come at an increased cost, often in the form of a larger, better equipped vehicle. I saw this guy driving a Smart Car the other day and I thought cripes, you'd never catch me dead in one of those. Not because they're weird looking; because I'd have to be identified with dental records if I was creamed while driving one.

  5. #5
    Posting Addict
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    5,543

    Default

    Hmm. Interesting question.

    I tend to lean toward letting people buy whatever car, whatever sized, whatever fuel economy, that matches their own values and the govt not getting involved in the auto industry.

    If economy is your greatest priority buy a teeny tiny car, if safety is buy something bigger, or if like me you need seating then enjoy your van

  6. #6
    Posting Addict ClairesMommy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    12,517

    Default

    My van is the reason why I can never take my turn to drive on days when we lunch outside the office. Sorry y'all. Plenty of seating, but you'll have to ride in a carseat. Nobody ever wants to drive with me.

  7. #7
    Posting Addict GloriaInTX's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    7,732

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Alissa_Sal View Post
    I also wonder if it will be safer to drive a smaller car when all of the cars on the road are smaller and lighter? I used to drive a Geo, and looking at my little car against some of these huge SUVs, it was easy to tell who was going to lose if I ever ran in to one. I drive a normal sized car now, and would actually feel a bit safer on the roads if all of the other cars were also normal sized, and I wasn't up against Expeditions and Hummers.
    Do you really think that is ever going to happen? No matter what size cars they make there are always going to be delivery trucks and other vehicles that are bigger. I have 6 kids living in my home right now. In order for us to even all fit in the same vehicle I have to have a 8 passenger mini-van. It is not possible for them to ever make that vehicle 55MPG unless they make it out of paper. So what now I won't be able to buy a vehicle that I can fit my family in? If not there are always going to be bigger vehicles on the road.
    Mom to Lee, Jake, Brandon, Rocco
    Stepmom to Ryan, Regan, Braden, Baley
    Granddaughters Kylie 10/18/2010 & Aleya 4/22/2013


    I never consider a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosopy, as a cause for withdrawing from a friend. --Thomas Jefferson

  8. #8
    Posting Addict
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Posts
    5,543

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Claire'sMommy View Post
    My van is the reason why I can never take my turn to drive on days when we lunch outside the office. Sorry y'all. Plenty of seating, but you'll have to ride in a carseat. Nobody ever wants to drive with me.
    lol... I hear you! Would you like to sit forward facing, rear facing, in a pink booster, or grey, or maybe a polkadot one?? And no, I will NOT take them out! Such a pain in the a$$ to install

  9. #9
    Posting Addict ClairesMommy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    12,517

    Default

    I don't think we'll need to worry about safety in smaller vehiclesat all, with the current price of gas and the limit supply of fossil fuels left. We'll all be driving electric cars and the risk of a high-speed crash will be moot.

    Seriously, the cars of the future will probably drive themselves. If you take the human factor out of driving, the roads curiously become so much safer. Go figure.

  10. #10
    Posting Addict GloriaInTX's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    7,732

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Claire'sMommy View Post
    I don't think we'll need to worry about safety in smaller vehiclesat all, with the current price of gas and the limit supply of fossil fuels left. We'll all be driving electric cars and the risk of a high-speed crash will be moot.

    Seriously, the cars of the future will probably drive themselves. If you take the human factor out of driving, the roads curiously become so much safer. Go figure.
    Do you really think that things are going to change that much in the next 13 years? They haven't changed that much in the last 13.
    Mom to Lee, Jake, Brandon, Rocco
    Stepmom to Ryan, Regan, Braden, Baley
    Granddaughters Kylie 10/18/2010 & Aleya 4/22/2013


    I never consider a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosopy, as a cause for withdrawing from a friend. --Thomas Jefferson

+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 5 12345 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
v -->

About Us | Contact Us | Privacy Policy | Sitemap | Terms & Conditions