Stricter Fuel Standards May Cause More Auto Accidents
I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Car Accident Lawyer. Cars getting better gas mileage is more of a curse rather than a blessing, according to the Trump Administration. They argue that better gas mileage would result in more people on the road, therefore, they would be exposed to higher levels of risk. This argument is meant to justify freezing Obama-era toughening of fuel standards. Transportation experts debate these claims, which were contained in a proposal draft prepared by the administration this summer. Additionally, draft excerpts obtained by the Associated Press reveal the administration’s plan to dispute California’s long-running authority to enact its own, stricter fuel and pollution standards. Revisions for the mileage requirements from 2021 – 2026 are still a work in progress, according to the administration, and changes might be made prior to the proposal’s public release. It’s possible that the release may happen as soon as this week.
Out with the Old, In with the New
Earlier this year, the Trump administration openly mentioned plans to roll back recent, tough fuel standards that were passed in the ending days of the Obama administration. The administration believes that gradual, incremental improvements in fuel efficiency are more effective from a long-term perspective, as compared to giant leaps forward which may alienate many consumers. If the mileage requirements stayed at 2020 levels, they contend that it could save nearly 1,000 lives annually.
New cars will be cheaper – and heavier – if they are not expected to meet tougher fuel requirements and more people purchase them, as mentioned in the draft, and that will put more people in newer, safer vehicles that contribute less to pollution. In addition, the draft states that people won’t be driving as often if their cars get fewer miles per gallon, reducing the risk of car accidents.
Watch YouTube Video: EPA Announces Rollback of Obama-Era Fuel Standards. This short news clip by KPIX CBS SF Bay Area reports on the Trump Administration killing Obama-era fuel standards.
Experts are Skeptic about Claims from the Trump Administration
David Zuby, chief research officer at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), admitted his skepticism regarding the administration’s estimation of saved lives. Multiple other factors can influence traffic deaths, like automakers agreeing to establish automatic emergency braking as a standard on all models before 2022. Giorgio Rizzoni, director of Ohio State University’s Center for Automotive Research, was also doubtful that freezing the fuel economy mandate would lead to increased safety.
Transportation experts do not see much validity behind the claim that heavier vehicles are safer because lightweight, newer cars tend to display equal performance or better in crash tests. Additionally, the weight gap between the Trump and Obama requirements would be very minimal. Experts contend that a bigger, heavier car would be subject to less damage in a collision with a lighter, smaller vehicle. However, they also state that lightweight cars with magnesium, titanium, aluminum, and lighter, high-strength steel mixtures do not perform any worse than their predecessors in crash tests.
Environmentalists also challenged the justification to freeze the fuel standards. Luke Tonachel, director of the Natural Resources Defense Council’s clean vehicles and fuels, project, stated that the risks of drivers being on the road more often due to increased mileage, are “tiny and maybe even negligible.”
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Sacramento Auto Accident Attorneys
I’m Ed Smith, a Sacramento Car Accident Lawyer. If you have sustained injuries from a car accident caused by a negligent driver, an injury attorney can help you move forward. I am happy to provide you with free, friendly advice if you call me locally at (916) 921-6400 or toll-free at (800) 404-5400.
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