SUVs and the Axel of Evil

Here’s an article from The New Republic by Gregg Easterbrook about the Axel of Evil, i.e., the perverse public policy that favors SUVs and “light trucks” at the expense of the general good (these big vehicles aren’t safer, kill people in other cars, and consume more fuel while expelling more pollutants, all well known issues), and the “existential fiasco” caused by SUVs in terms of aggressive driving. One interesting thing from the world of unintended consequences that I hadn’t heard before: because SUVs aren’t constrained by pollution requirements, engineers have focused on improving the power and acceleration performance of SUV engines, resulting in stunning 0-60 times. Quick acceleration, however, leads to aggressive driving, made worse by poor SUV handling. There is also the social pathology of selling cars that subtract from the safety of others in a crash, regardless of whether SUVs are or are not safer for their occupants.

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