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Is Auto Safety Taking A Back Seat To Green Innovation?

“Green is in right now,” says Adrian Lund, president of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. “And safety is taking a back seat.” This Newsweek report cites that more than 42,000 people die on American roads every year and that traffic accidents are the leading cause of death for people under 25.

The drive toward green, according to this article, isn’t going to alter that trend.

Last year, sales of the smallest cars on the market, such as the Toyota Yaris and Honda Fit, jumped 33.7 percent. Next month, Daimler’s Smart Car, will be on the market; it gets 60 miles per gallon and is reportedly so small it can park nose first in a parallel parking space. But how would it fare in an accident with, say, a Hummer or SUV. “I’m concerned that people are going to put their families into small cars and more people will die trying to save money on gas,” says Lund.

There are many recent safety breakthroughs in the auto industry, but according to Newsweek, innovations such as sensors that detect when you’re headed for a crash or veering out of a lane, are being ignored in light of green innovations such as lithium-ion batteries and cellulosic ethanol.

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4 thoughts on “Is Auto Safety Taking A Back Seat To Green Innovation?

  1. This is a potentially serious problem, but it seems to me that no one ever looks at it from the opposite perspective. In other words, is the problem the recent proliferation of small vehicles or is it the proliferation of larger vehicles over the course of the last decade? I find it odd that “blame” is so often placed on presumed inadequacies in small car engineering (avoidable or otherwise) while larger vehicles aren’t deemed equally culpable. Maybe we should start re-engineering our larger vehicles to make them more small-car-collision friendly, to the extent that is possible.

  2. The insurance agency should be more concerned about the effects of climate change causing more property damage and health insurance costs. Instead, here they are being quoted of trying to derail one of the means by which our nations can be proactive about climate change. Smaller, fuel efficient vehicles are a major contribution to cutting our climate change impacts. Furthermore, I highly doubt ANY responsible major auto manufacturer would be foolish enough to put safety on the line in the name of going green.

  3. The Green innovations are signs of increased responsibility to our environment. It therefore has to share increased responsibility on the part of drivers. If both these responsibilities are in sync, the accidental deaths should reduce.

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