Huge Automobiles are Killing People

Michael Empric, Adjudicator for Guinness World Records, RAM counts trucks as they pass by to determine if RAM will break the Guinness World Records for the largest parade of RAM vehicles and the largest parade of pickup trucks during the RAM truck Round-Up at AT&T Stadium on April 18, 2015 in Dallas, Texas.

POV: You’re on any American freeway
Picture: Michael Buckner/ACM2015 (Getty Photographs)

Right here in America, we like our vehicles the way in which we like our novelty belt buckles: Huge. We People are used to this, seeing each freeway, thoroughfare, and again highway replete with pickups and SUVs that may solely be described as “novelty outsized.” Sooner or later, you simply cease noticing them — they develop into a part of the surroundings, simply one other extremely massive automobile.

However our mates throughout the pond don’t have that very same sense of truck blindness. Touchdown upon our shores, they’re shocked by the scale of automobiles that prowl our roads, lurking round each blind nook and behind each hill. When British writer for the Financial Times, John Burn-Murdoch, arrived within the U.S. not too long ago, he noticed the identical pattern — however he delved into why our roads are like this.

$10 says this truck has “Pink Houses” by John Mellencamp playing inside, and that the driver has never really listened to the lyrics

$10 says this truck has “Pink Homes” by John Mellencamp enjoying inside, and that the motive force has by no means actually listened to the lyrics
Picture: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Name, Inc (Getty Photographs)

Burn-Murdoch studied the information on American automobiles — measurement, emissions, crash fatalities for each passengers and pedestrians. He found a pattern, the place fashionable American automobiles are far bigger and dirtier than their European counterparts. These huge vehicles are literally safer for his or her occupants, however much more lethal to the individuals exterior: As automobiles sizes grew, will increase in pedestrian casualties far outpaced any discount in passenger deaths.

To Burn-Murdoch’s studying, this all factors to a singular pattern in American automotive buying: Rugged individualism. He blamed a tradition of “driving as an expression of non-public freedom” for the ever-growing automobiles, alongside U.S. patrons’ needs for vehicles to be “aggressive” and “highly effective.” His full piece for Financial Times is a superb evaluation of the information concerned, although it by no means fairly will get to the true answer — introducing kei vehicles to the American market.