Death Traps Vs. Gas Guzzlers Split Automakers

Are there any good choices for consumers in the car size debate?
By Gabriel Winant,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 21, 2009 11:45 AM CDT
Death Traps Vs. Gas Guzzlers Split Automakers
In this 2007 file photo, Daimler AG's Smart fortwo micro car is driven on a street in Washington.   (AP Photo)

In the push to curb America’s fuel intake, consumers must often make a choice between safety and fuel economy, Joseph White writes in the Wall Street Journal. The real problem, though, may be that small cars have to share the road with SUVs. “A much bigger issue is the incompatibility between truck-based SUVs and cars of any size,” says a researcher.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the research arm of the insurance industry, has long been critical of small cars, and has conducted crash tests showing them being crushed and tossed. The IIHS suggests that instead of cutting back on size—and safety—manufacturers and regulators should focus on making bigger, safer cars that don’t guzzle gas. (More Smart Car stories.)

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