Red car turned turtle

Reducing fuel consumption is good conservation policy, good environmental policy, and in these times of rising gas prices it’s also good economic policy. The key is to find and apply methods that conserve fuel without putting people at greater risk in collisions because their more efficient vehicles aren’t as crashworthy.

The problem is that these choices have compromised safety. Smaller, lighter vehicles generally are less protectiveof their occupants in crashes. This built-in contradiction between safety and fuel economy may be on the verge of disappearing, or at least diminishing. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is proposing a standard for SUVs, vans, and pickup trucks that, besides imposing somewhat tougher fuel economy requirements, would restructure the way fuel economy is calculated for compliance purposes. The effect would be that manufacturers would have to improve the fuel efficiency of all of their vehicles.



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