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U.S. Auto Safety Standards: Undermining Efficiency, Ignoring Pedestrians
Posted By Angie Schmitt On January 6, 2011 @ 10:37 am In Network Roundup | 8 Comments
We’ve written before  about how perverse “safety standards” imperil pedestrians when it comes to street design. It’s disappointing to discover some of the same flawed logic is at work in the safety regulations for automobiles themselves.
Network blog Systemic Failure  is highlighting how safety rules for American motor vehicles are not only preventing car companies from achieving higher fuel efficiency, but turning a blind eye to the fate of pedestrians in a collision:
SUV and small truck sales are booming again, and Detroit automakers have returned to their bad old ways. But when prices surpass the $4/gallon mark again, what plan do they have for the next gas crisis? One simple answer: re-brand fuel-efficient cars they already sell in Europe. Believe it or not, both Ford and GM do quite well selling gas-sipping cars in Europe, where the price per gallon can easily double US prices.
But alas, it is not so simple. Under Federal “safety” regulations, it is illegal to sell European automobiles in the US market. There are dozens of minor differences in safety regulations. And those differences don’t necessary make vehicles any safer for the American consumer.
The blog cites a 2008 Associated Press  article, which finds fault with U.S. safety standards.
Another major shortcoming in the American regulatory framework is in the design of bumpers. American bumpers only have to protect the car; whereas Europe bumper tests simulate crashes against pedestrians.
Elsewhere on the Network today: Write of Way  reports that Chicago is gearing up to develop an elevated trail and park modeled after New York’s High Line. And Hard Drive  announces Portland’s Tri-Met has introduced a bus and train arrival tracker for the iPhone.
Article printed from Streetsblog.net: http://streetsblog.net
URL to article: http://streetsblog.net/2011/01/06/u-s-auto-safety-standards-undermining-efficiency-ignoring-pedestrians/
URLs in this post:
 written before: http://streetsblog.net/2010/11/23/a-former-traffic-engineer-on-the-industrys-perverse-standards/
 Systemic Failure: http://systemicfailure.wordpress.com/2011/01/06/how-safety-regulations-impede-fuel-efficiency/
 Image: http://streetsblog.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/smart-fortwo-crash-test.jpg
 Associated Press: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26444467/
 Write of Way: http://www.activetrans.org/blog/bmorrissey/high-line-shows-way-or-why-we-should-give-damn-about-new-york
 Hard Drive: http://blog.oregonlive.com/commuting/2011/01/no_more_waiting_arrival_tracke.html
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