ESPN on MPG
“And although being in a heavy SUV might make the driver feel safer, the reality is the opposite. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety continues to find that you are more likely to die in an SUV than in a regular car. In its most recent study, “very large” SUVs had a higher occupant death rate than midsized cars — that is, trading in your large SUV for a regular-size car makes you less likely to die. The IIHS also finds that econobox-sized cars are death traps in crashes, so don’t switch to a tiny car to save fuel, switch to a midsized vehicle with a middling-horsepower engine. Here are the most recent National Highway Traffic Safety Administration figures on fatality rates by vehicle class. They show that people in “light trucks,” the class that enfolds SUVs and most pickup trucks, are roughly one-third more likely to die per mile traveled than people in regular-size cars. It was quite cynical for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers to tell consumers that SUVs will make them feel safe when statistics show that buying an SUV makes the driver more likely to die.”
That’s from Gregg Easterbrook, via ESPN of all places. We do have to consider who’s driving those vehicles, of course; younger drivers tend to drive “econo-boxes,” so that tilts the fatality numbers upwards, etc. But the entire post, which is on fuel economy. is worth reading.
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