CEI Comment on Study on Safety Risks of Small Cars

New Study Again Shows Safety Risks of Small Cars
White House Fuel Economy Push Poses Greater Safety Threat

Washington, D.C., April 14, 2009—A new auto insurance study out today demonstrates, yet again, that super-efficient minicars carry serious safety risks.  But the White House is dead-set on swiftly making these standards more stringent and more deadly, despite the risks they pose to both consumers and to the auto industry.

“Proponents of higher fuel economy standards continually tout how much fuel they’ll supposedly save us; they never say a word about the fact that people will die in the process,” said Sam Kazman, General Counsel of the Competitive Enterprise Institute.  “In short, we can expect to see CAFE kill people and car makers, while CAFE’s proponents talk about fuel efficiency and reduced CO2 emissions.

The study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety on the safety risks of small cars demonstrates just what’s in store for us if the federal government continues with its push for increased fuel efficiency.

“Hats off to the insurance industry for fending off political correctness on this life-and-death issue,” Kazman added.

Despite all the data showing safety hazards associated with lighter, more fuel efficient cars, environmentalists recently attacked the new candidate to head the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for his past criticism of CAFE standards on safety grounds. 

As CEI pointed out in a 2007 study, First, Do No Harm to Motorists: Six Reasons Not To Raise CAFE Standards, the existing fuel economy standards of 27.5 mpg already account for about 2,000 traffic deaths per year, due to their downsizing effect on vehicles.  This will only get worse as these standards are ratcheted up under the Administration’s new schedule, released just two weeks ago. 

>Read more on CAFE standards.