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  1. #1
    MembersZone Subscriber MalahatTwo7's Avatar
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    Question Maybe There Is An Engineer Who

    Can explain the red part, because I don't understand how the fuel efficiency/size of a vehicle attributes to the number of MVA related deaths...

    Higher mileage levels eyedBy Patrice Hill

    THE WASHINGTON TIMES August 24, 2005

    The Bush administration, facing a public outcry over record high gasoline prices, yesterday proposed a 6 percent increase in fuel efficiency for sport utility vehicles, minivans and pickup trucks.

    The plan is expected to yield savings of 10 billion gallons of gas by 2011 -- the equivalent of about a month's worth of fuel consumed by motorists in the United States. The savings would be achieved at a cost of about $6 billion to consumers and the auto industry.

    Transportation Secretary Norman Y. Mineta said the fuel savings, which would be concentrated primarily in America's current vehicle of choice -- smaller SUVs -- would be a boon to consumers facing gas prices near $3 a gallon in major cities.

    "This is a plan that will save gas and result in less pain at the pump for motorists," he said at a press conference in Atlanta.

    The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, which issued the proposed rule and hopes to make it final by April, noted that today's concerns about energy security and high fuel prices are similar to the worries that prevailed when the government first established fuel efficiency standards during the 1970s oil crisis.

    Worries about disruptions in oil supplies in Iraq, Iran and Saudi Arabia, the Middle East's three biggest producers, this year have combined with tight supplies and growing fuel use in the United States, China and elsewhere to drive oil and gas prices to unprecedented levels.

    "Increasingly, the oil consumed in the U.S. originates in countries with political and economic situations that raise concerns about future oil supplies and prices," the agency said. It contends the social and environmental benefits from increased conservation outweigh any financial distress to the automakers.

    SUVs and light trucks account for more than half the vehicles on American highways. The proposal would require manufacturers to gradually increase the efficiency of all but the largest new SUVs and pickup trucks to 23.5 miles a gallon in 2011 from 20.9 mpg today.

    The biggest gas-guzzlers of all, such as Hummers, are exempted. And the current 27.5 mpg standards for passenger cars would not be raised.

    Since the standard for SUVs and light trucks already was set to rise to 22.2 mpg in 2007, the plan yields an additional 6 percent in savings on top of the 6 percent already planned, for a total of 12.4 percent in fuel savings by 2011.

    Manufacturers could achieve the savings by using the law's old formula for averaging efficiency over the entire fleet of light trucks, or follow new standards established for six different vehicle categories under a reform plan sought by Detroit's Big Three.

    The reformed standards, which require the biggest fuel savings from smaller SUV models, would prevail by 2011.

    The traffic agency's administrator, Jeffrey Runge, said safety would not be compromised in the drive to conserve fuel.

    "This proposal removes the incentive for automakers to downsize vehicles" by making them lighter but also less safe, he said. "The old system saved fuel but resulted in more deaths on highways."

    Not everyone agreed. Sam Kazman, general counsel of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, which won a 1992 lawsuit against the agency for concealing deaths attributed to earlier efficiency standards, said the claim that safety is not compromised is "pure nonsense."

    "Safety may be NHTSA's middle name, but when it comes to fuel economy this agency's commitment to safety is nothing more than a cheap slogan," he said. "Higher fuel economy standards increase traffic deaths, as the National Academy of Sciences found in its 2001 study on the federal fuel economy program."

    Environmentalists said the measure falls short both in fuel savings and relief for hard-pressed consumers.

    "President Bush must have no clue how much gas costs in this country. These new rules will do nothing to relieve the pain that Americans are feeling at the pump," said Kevin S. Curtis, vice president of National Environmental Trust.

    The plan is a "missed opportunity" because technology exists to raise U.S. fuel standards by over four times as much, said Brendan Bell of Sierra Club. "Almost a hundred years ago the Ford Model T got 25 miles per gallon," he said. "Are they really telling Americans that the best we can do is one mile worse than the Model T?"


    Wouldn't it be better to improve the efficiency of how the motor burns the fuel rather than just make a lighter vehicle? Unless it's an Abrams or Leopard tank maybe, and folks get killed/injured in MVA related incidents involving tanks too. So does size really matter?
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  2. #2
    MembersZone Subscriber dmleblanc's Avatar
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    I think size matters....when trying to make a vehicle more fuel efficient, the easiest thing to do is make the vehicle lighter. Taking good old American steel out of the structure makes the entire vehicle lighter, but it won't hold up as well in an accident.

    I've responded to many motor vehicle accidents, and one trend I've noticed is this.....in 2-vehicle accidents where there is a disparity in vehicle size (say a light pickup truck vs. a standard sized passenger car), I'm often amazed at how often we're extricating everyone in the car while the driver of the truck is out walking around, with very minor or no injuries. Examine the vehicle and you'll find that there's very little intrusion into the passenger area. Bigger vehicles just take a lot more force to compromise the safety area of the passengers.

    I took an extrication class many years ago in which the instructor espoused his "Lug-Nut Theory" of motor vehicle accidents....basically, in any multiple vehicle confrontation, the vehicle with the most lug nuts always wins ...Passenger car beats motorcycle, Truck beats passenger car, semi beats truck, train beats semi, and so on......
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  3. #3
    Forum Member JackTee09's Avatar
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    I like that Dwayne.
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  4. #4
    Forum Member nmfire's Avatar
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    Lightweight plastic car vs heavy weight steel car. Hmmm.
    Even the burger-flippers at McDonald's probably have some McWackers.

  5. #5
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    I would love to see a Military Hummer smash a h2 and h3 (which are ugly pos's!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!) to heck.
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  6. #6
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    The Safety / Efficiency thing is a microeconomic type issue that really shouldn't be part of the debate.

    I am, in general, safer the bigger vehicle I'm in.

    Prius loses to the F350.

    F350 loses to the Locomotive.

    When you go "Macro" and talk about averages...

    If everyone drove Priuses (what the heck is the plural form of Prius?), on average you'd have about the same injuries to both. Fewer deaths, Fewer walk-aways.

    Same holds true if everyone drove F350s.

    And one can even argue there is an advantage to the Priuses in that the pedestrians / bicyclists are at a significantly smaller disadvantage. Although while I'd chose being hit by a Prius over a F350 or a Locomotive, all options suck.

    I don't buy into a lot of all that hyperbole above.

    Make efficient, safe vehicles. Let people chose how they spend their money and what level of safety they're willing to compromise at.

    I'm probably much safer when I'm driving my '92 Volvo at 25mpg most people in their '02 F350. I'd love the F350, but I'm a cheap *****.

  7. #7
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    Better yet,educate the people driving the "efficient,safe"vehicles so that they know they are NOT driving a effing phone booth but a 3,500 lb machine that cannot control itself.
    I ride a bicycle from economic necessity and because it's good exercise.I ride on the left because that is how I was taught to ride or walk on roads with no sidewalks-against traffic so to see what is coming and avoid getting his if they don't see you.
    Since Paducah forbids bikers over 16 from riding the sidewalks,that's how I ride inside the city limits as well.
    Most of the rides I've done would have me getting off the road in a hurry because someone was flying down the road,eating a late lunch and making a most important phone call.And I sure don't ride down the center,tending to shade to the curb as much as I can and keep my balance and the pedals turning.
    All I can say to those folks is the President better take your advice because you missed me"by that much"as the late great comedian Don Adams would say.

    Quote Originally Posted by 123456D
    Make efficient, safe vehicles. Let people chose how they spend their money and what level of safety they're willing to compromise at.

    .

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