Take The Auto Safety Rorschach Test!

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

These two graphs preface NHTSA’s recent Vehicle Safety and Fuel Economy Rulemaking and Research Priority Plan [ PDF] for the 2011-2013 period.

What does the data tell you? What’s a safety regulator to do? Oh, and you might want to look at this graph before you answer…

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  • Jellodyne Jellodyne on May 26, 2011

    If you graph average engine horsepower over the same period as the average fatalities per 100m miles graph, I think you'll find there is a clear inverse relationship between the engine horsepower of the average car on the road and fatalities. Therefore the logical approach is to legislate a doubling of engine horsepower by, let's say 2025. Sure the more powerful motors will add some additional cost to the price of a car, but if that's what it takes to keep the roads safe, then I'm willing to do my part.

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    • Dekinorman Dekinorman on May 27, 2011

      How about gov't subsidies to increase the power of my car? Cash for blowers. That's a handout we can all get behind, right? Nice to see from this graph that I'm pretty safe on my bicycle riding to work. Only 630 deaths compared to almost 29,000 for motorized vehicles. I'll try to remember that the next time a school bus tries to run me off an overpass. Deliberately. While full of kids.

  • Robert Schwartz Robert Schwartz on May 26, 2011

    Government agency out looking for problems to solve. What could possibly go wrong?

    • Carsinamerica Carsinamerica on May 28, 2011

      Probably something along the lines of the horrible things that happened when the EPA began regulating air and water quality standards after the passage of the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts. Horrid consequences like the Cuyahoga River no longer catching fire, and Lake Erie no longer being a single dead-zone. I don't deny that government solutions aren't always ideal, and that sometimes proposals are solutions in search of problems, but safety regulations can be beneficial, too.

  • Lorenzo Lorenzo on May 27, 2011

    Obviously, the solution is driver education, teaching people to drive defensively, avoiding collisions with other cars or stationary objects and driving slowly enough and carefully enough to avoid rollovers. Just as obviously, we're going to get collision avoidance devices, more airbags, backup cameras, stronger roofs, crash cushions around every roadside object, center-of-gravity regulations for carmakers and changes to controls and drivers' seating that attempt to make driving idiot-proof. All because the government regulators refuse to recognize the truism that if you try to make something idiot-proof, Mother Nature will produce a bigger idiot.

  • Lorenzo Lorenzo on May 27, 2011

    My comment is awaiting moderation. Apparently I used a trigger word. I'm a retired transportation engineer and programmer and have neither the time nor inclination to figure out what that word is, or put up with programmed filters. Aside from a little sarcasm, I'm a moderate person and don't want to be moderated any further. Cancel that "awaiting moderation" comment.