When an editorial is written on Slate.com (owned by the Washington Post), cites research from the University of California, Berkeley, and mentions HUMMERs – you can bet it it won’t be a glowing review of the brand’s unique styling and off-road prowess. Instead you’ll find obscure statistics that somehow suggest that larger vehicles, including HUMMERs, are costing lives figures of upwards of $150 billion a year. Seriously?
I can’t help but think this is somehow retribution for the “Hummer v Prius” debate that has seemed to surface about every six months since 2007, where scientists using somewhat questionable science deemed the Prius worse for the environment than the Hummer.
Basically, the researchers found that if you’re struck by a heavier vehicle, the probability of a fatal accident goes way up. Side note: California is also wondering why their state has massive debt – perhaps the next study will reveal the STUNNING new find that spending more than you make leads to deficits.
Given the relationship between big cars and bad accidents, it might make sense to make such cars more expensive to buy or drive. You could do this with insurance premiums, or lawsuits. But the economists suggest a gas tax, “because it is simple and because gasoline usage is positively related to both miles driven and vehicle weight.”
I’m relatively certain that Hummers, Ford F150s, Cadillac Escalades, Chevy Tahoes, and GMC Suburbans are “more expensive to buy” AND “drive,” given the sticker price and lesser fuel economy than a Chevy Cobalt.
Slate.com titled the article, “Your Big Car Is Killing Me.” Why didn’t it say, “Your Small Cars Are Killing You,” or “Your Big Car Is Saving Your Families Life,” I wonder?
If I’m ever in an accident, I truly hope no one involved is hurt, but as long as there are teenagers testing and driving, adults drinking and driving, I’m not going to feel any remorse for stacking the deck in my family’s favor when it comes to a collision.
P.S. An article on HUMMER safety wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t include the ever-popular H3 V Dump Truck/Semi story…