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In opposing CAFE, the domestic automakers have argued that small cars are less safe than SUVs and other trucks. Unsafe to whom, many of us have asked.

But statistics indicate otherwise. Much more than size seems to matter.

<http://www.aceee.org/pubs/T021full.pdf>
"Figure 2 shows the average risk to drivers and the risk to drivers of other vehicles for minivans, SUVs, pickup trucks, and six classes of cars (the same as in Figure 1)....Thus the combined risk of the average SUV (129) is 30% higher than that for the average large car (100) and 25% higher than that for the average midsize car (105)."

"The safest subcompact (Civic and Jetta) and compact (626 and Altima) car models are as safe to their drivers as the average SUV (see Figures
2 and 3, and Table A5 in the appendix). When one considers the combined risk, including those killed in the other vehicle in two-vehicle crashes, then the safest subcompact and compact models are actually safer than the average SUV."

"[T]he argument that the low weight of cars with high fuel economy has resulted in many excess deaths is unfounded; that by paying careful attention to safety in vehicle design, smaller cars can be, and indeed have been, made as safe as larger ones."

nathan
 
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