CAFE and ‘If It Saves One Life’

 

We’ve heard a lot about how we shouldn’t open up the economy because the Wuhan Virus will re-emerge and kill additional people. The death and misery caused by the current policies shutting down the economy don’t seem to worry these people.

After the Yom Kippur War of 1973 and the Arab Oil embargo, Congress passed CAFE (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) which mandated that automakers increase it. They responded by making lighter cars which are more dangerous. A 2010 American Thinker article estimated that the total deaths resulting from this range from 41,600 to 124,800 with many more seriously injured.

Given the impact of fracking, we have an abundance of fossil fuels in America. Repealing CAFE will save many lives. If the Left is consistent (yeah, right), they will support this. It will save many lives and eliminate a serious distortion in our economy from government intervention.

Published in Economics
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  1. DonG (skeptic) Coolidge
    DonG (skeptic)
    @DonG

    But I think automakers like having cars are irreparable after the slightest accident. 

    People Will Die video

    • #1
  2. Muleskinner, Weasel Wrangler Member
    Muleskinner, Weasel Wrangler
    @Muleskinner

    DonG (skeptic) (View Comment):

    But I think automakers like having cars are irreparable after the slightest accident.

    People Will Die video

    Well, the engines last much longer, the body styles are all aerodynamic, so they have to build in planned obsolescence somehow.

    • #2
  3. Henry Castaigne Member
    Henry Castaigne
    @HenryCastaigne

    Well if we start more economic growth, can’t we fund more research to save more lives in multiple fields?

    • #3
  4. Ralphie Inactive
    Ralphie
    @Ralphie

    DonG (skeptic) (View Comment):

    But I think automakers like having cars are irreparable after the slightest accident.

    People Will Die video

    Love Remy.

    • #4
  5. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy Weivoda
    @RandyWeivoda

    Muleskinner, Weasel Wrangler (View Comment):

    DonG (skeptic) (View Comment):

    But I think automakers like having cars are irreparable after the slightest accident.

    People Will Die video

    Well, the engines last much longer, the body styles are all aerodynamic, so they have to build in planned obsolescence somehow.

    No.  I’m sure many of us have had modern cars that were repaired after a slight accident.  I don’t know anyone who has had their car totalled after a slight accident, unless the car was worth almost nothing.

    • #5
  6. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy Weivoda
    @RandyWeivoda

    I am opposed to CAFE and always have been, because customers ought to be able to make their own choices in a free country. If I am driving what someone else considers to be a gas guzzler, so what?  I’m paying for the gas, not you. 

    I am not sold, however, on the idea that the best path to safety is for us to drive ever heavier vehicles.  If mass were the guarantor of safety, nobody would ever die when two trains collide.  I feel safer and in more control when I am driving my Mustang GT than when I am driving some big lumbering beast of a truck that takes greater distance to stop and cannot change directions as quickly.

    • #6
  7. Richard Easton Coolidge
    Richard Easton
    @RichardEaston

    Randy Weivoda (View Comment):

    I am opposed to CAFE and always have been, because customers ought to be able to make their own choices in a free country. If I am driving what someone else considers to be a gas guzzler, so what? I’m paying for the gas, not you.

    I am not sold, however, on the idea that the best path to safety is for us to drive ever heavier vehicles. If mass were the guarantor of safety, nobody would ever die when two trains collide. I feel safer and in more control when I am driving my Mustang GT than when I am driving some big lumbering beast of a truck that takes greater distance to stop and cannot change directions as quickly.

    A small car hitting a big truck is a problem. Modern safety equipment reduces but does not eliminate the risk. A heavier car is safer in general.

    • #7
  8. Roderic Reagan
    Roderic
    @rhfabian

    Since the 70s the rate of traffic deaths has fallen  by more than 50%, from 27 to 12 per hundred thousand per year.  Cars are much safer than they used to be.  The drop is even greater if you consider deaths per miles driven.

    • #8
  9. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy Weivoda
    @RandyWeivoda

    Richard Easton (View Comment):

    Randy Weivoda (View Comment):

    I am opposed to CAFE and always have been, because customers ought to be able to make their own choices in a free country. If I am driving what someone else considers to be a gas guzzler, so what? I’m paying for the gas, not you.

    I am not sold, however, on the idea that the best path to safety is for us to drive ever heavier vehicles. If mass were the guarantor of safety, nobody would ever die when two trains collide. I feel safer and in more control when I am driving my Mustang GT than when I am driving some big lumbering beast of a truck that takes greater distance to stop and cannot change directions as quickly.

    A small car hitting a big truck is a problem. Modern safety equipment reduces but does not eliminate the risk. A heavier car is safer in general.

    It’s only a comparative advantage, depending on what you hit.  Two 3500 pound cars hitting each other are no worse than two 6000 pound vehicles hitting each other.  It’s when you have a 3500 pounder hitting a 6000 pounder that driving the heavier vehicle is an advantage.  But no matter how heavy your car is, there are always going to be heavier vehicles out there.  Even if you drive a semi, you can be crushed by a train.  I’d rather see automakers make cars that are safer by making them better able to avoid accidents in the first place, rather than relying on mass.

    As I originally said, I’m against the CAFE regulations.  I just don’t find the argument that fuel efficiency works against safety to be a compelling argument.

    • #9
  10. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Randy Weivoda (View Comment):
    As I originally said, I’m against the CAFE regulations. I just don’t find the argument that fuel efficiency works against safety to be a compelling argument.

    Same here, especially among the crowd that is willing to take risks rather than shut down the economy.  But maybe that was the point of the OP, in a backhanded way.

    However, I am not opposed to net-zero pigovian taxes to encourage fuel efficiency. Leftist defenders of CAFE tell me those taxes would need to be a lot higher than anyone is willing to support to achieve the same efficiencies. So be it. Let’s not make them that high. I suspect there is some question as to just how much efficiency CAFE standards have resulted in, anyway. 

    • #10