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Weight of cars

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  • Anna Cronin (PCT North West)
    I don t think it would ever be possible to go down the should heavier cars be allowed to pose more risk to occupants of lighter cars route, whatever the
    Message 1 of 1 , May 12 2:02 AM
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      I don't think it would ever be possible to go down the 'should heavier cars be allowed to pose more risk to occupants of lighter cars' route, whatever the evidence is about the damage they cause. In that case we should say small cars shouldn't be allowed either because they pose a risk to pedestrians. The reality is that road traffic injuries are steeped in inequalities, those who can afford to be inside a safer, better maintained car will be at lower risk. Those who who have no choice but to walk in an unsafe road environment, or have to be passengers in overcrowded, speeding public buses driven by overtired drivers, will always be at significantly more risk. Nationally, disadvantaged groups suffer more from traffic injuries than advantaged groups, globally 90% of RTIs are in low and middle income countries. The inequalities also mean that those without cars have less access to food, education and employment. Which is why families in Thailand, Malaysia etc are so willing to buy scooters to transport their families around, despite the risks.
       
      The real debate then is behaviour and global social change. Ideally roads should be constructed and drivers should behave in a way so that vehicles aren't crashing into each other in the first place.. in which case the weight argument is irrelevant. The majority of crashes are preventable, but as injuries have the most impact on the least powerful not enough is done. Even with all the road safety work being done, is it enough to go against the current of global motorisation and increasing inequalities? 
       
      The global road traffic injury epidemic hasn't hit the world properly yet. With 1.2 million deaths annually, there is slowly more attention being paid to the crisis in developing countries, including a new UN resolution and the W.H.O. paying more attention to the problem. But we haven't seen anything yet, in 15 years time we can expect the annual toll to be over 2 million, making RTI's number 3 in the world's burden of disease. That will far exceed HIV/AIDS, war or various infectious diseases, hit the poorest in developing countries the most, and take away wage earners supporting large numbers of dependents. It is going to be a massive inequality issue because as RTI rates go down in high income countries and we don't see it as much of a problem, the reverse will be happening in low and middle income countries as the world increases it's car ownership and dependency.
       
      The solution to all our concerns, be that environment or health or both, has to be to provide safe, real alternatives to the car culture, with an emphasis on inequalities so people don't need cars to have access to the basics of employment, education, food and services..
       
      There you go.. two million more reasons to keep up the good work of developing safe, healthy, sustainable transport for all..
       
      Anna
       
      Anna Cronin de Chavez
      Health Promotion Specialist (Injury Prevention)
      City-wide based at Leeds North West PCT
      North West House, West Park Ring Road, Leeds, LS16 6QG, UK.
      Tel 0113 3057532 anna.cronin@...
      -----Original Message-----
      From: Eric Bruun [mailto:ericbruun@...]
      Sent: 11 May 2005 19:52
      To: NewMobilityCafe@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [NewMobilityCafe] The continuing discussion about weight of cars

      Gabriel is correct that minivans have a below average fatality rate, but that is no doubt because most of them
      both comply with the Motor Vehicle Code and can compete better in  relative mommentum in accidents with heavy vehicles.
      Eric Bruun


      -----Original Message-----
      From: Eric Britton
      Sent: May 11, 2005 10:49 AM
      To: NewMobilityCafe@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [NewMobilityCafe] Kyoto Cities Challenge The United States and global warming: a tale of two countries

      Note: This discussion has been moved over from the Kyoto Cities Forum to the New Mobility Café. Both are visible via the http://kyotocities.org site via the Working Groups Forum link on http://ecoplan.org left menu.

       

       

      From: Gabriel Roth [mailto:roths@...]
      Sent: Wednesday, May 11, 2005 4:20 PM

       

      Dear Lloyd -

       

      Agreed that many factors affect the risks of

      death on the roads, but this does not affect the

      proposition that, having regard to all factors,

      light cars are more dangerous for their occupants

      than heavy ones.

       

      I am not sure that the Hakim articles you cited

      are relevant to the fuel economy question. They

      show that travel in SUVs carries above-average

      risk, while travel in "vans" carries

      below-average risks. I've not studied this but

      doubt if "vans" are lighter than SUVs.

       

      Gabriel

       

       

       

      >Dear all,

      >

      >I do not think the safety issue based on vehicle weight is nearly as clear-cut

      >as the previous message asserts.  The heaviest vehicles, in fact, do not have

      >the lowest fatality rates.  Although weight is certainly one factor, so are

      >dimensions, materials, and design, as indicated by the Honda study.  The high

      >roll-over rate of SUVs, due to their high ground clearance, has certainly

      >negated much of their weight advantages (although newer models have to an

      >extent mitigated this problem).  Further, driver behaviour is also a major

      >factor.  SUV owners, as well as sports car owners, tend to display higher risk

      >behaviour.  It is possible that driving a larger vehicle can create a moral

      >hazard in the sense that the drivers feel safer and thus take on additional

      >risk.

      >

      >Below are related excerpts from two articles.

      >

      >Best regards,

      >

      >Lloyd Wright

      >Gakushin Fellow

      >Osaka University

       



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