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fuel economy and car size

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  • Eric Britton
    ... From: bnoland [mailto:r.noland@imperial.ac.uk] Sent: Tuesday, May 10, 2005 4:58 PM To: Kyoto2020@yahoogroups.com Subject: fuel economy and car size In
    Message 1 of 1 , May 10, 2005
      -----Original Message-----
      From: bnoland [mailto:r.noland@...]
      Sent: Tuesday, May 10, 2005 4:58 PM
      To: Kyoto2020@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: fuel economy and car size

      In response to this debate over car safety, I would refer those
      interested to the following recent studies of this issue:

      Noland, Robert B., "Motor Vehicle Fuel Efficiency and Traffic
      Fatalities", The Energy Journal 25(4): 1-22 (2004).

      Noland, Robert B., Fuel Economy and Traffic Fatalities: Multivariate
      Analysis of International Data, Energy Policy, 33: 2183-2190 (2005).

      Thomas P. Wenzel and Marc Ross, 2005, The effects of vehicle model and
      driver behavior on risk, Accident Analysis and Prevention, 479-494.

      Sanjana Ahmad and David L. Greene, 2005, The effect of fuel economy on
      automobile safety: a reexamination, paper 05-1336, presented at the
      Annual Meeting of the Transportation Research Board.

      I would also refer those interested in this topic to the appendix by
      David Greene in: National Research Council (NRC), 2002, Effectiveness
      and Impact of Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) Standards,
      National Academy Press: Washington, DC.

      and more recent reports that examined vehicle size and safety by Van
      Auken and Zellner of Dynamic Research, Inc. - fairly long consulting
      reports I believe funded by Honda that sought to confirm the analyses
      of NHTSA that originally claimed that small cars increase fatalities.
      They found no such relationship and actually found the opposite effect!

      The overall conclusion of much of this research is that size has no
      impact on safety and fuel economy also has no impact. Variance of
      sizes and weights is probably bad for safety and may explain some
      excess fatalities in the mid to late 1970's and possibly more recently
      due to increased use of SUVs (at least this is my conclusion from my
      own work in this area). Fuel economy increases can easily be achieved
      without any compromises in vehicle safety.

      Bob Noland
      Centre for Transport Studies
      Imperial College London
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