“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.