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    Higher fuel economy standards are “deadly” because they make vehicle design less safe


    Higher fuel economy standards have mixed effects on vehicle safety

    According to a 2002 report from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, "Studies of the safety implications of corporate average fuel economy standards have produced mixed results." The CBO writes that safety implications would depend on "how raising CAFE standards would affect the size and weight of vehicles in the future," where decreasing the weight and size of cars is expected to lead to a "higher number of fatalities," while "declines in the weight of light trucks tend to decrease fatalities overall." CBO further notes:

    Sorting out the impact of CAFE standards on vehicle safety is complicated by the fact that many other factors also affect safety. Death rates from motor vehicle crashes have fallen steadily over the past half century, including during the period when CAFE standards went into effect and vehicle weights declined. That trend is thought to have resulted from better vehicle designs, less drunk driving, greater use of safety belts, and improved road design.