Are bigger cars safer?
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"Proposed mileage standards would kill more Americans than Iraq War" writes Steve Milloy, a Fox News commentator and author of "Green Hell: How Environmentalists Plan to Ruin Your Life and What You Can Do to Stop Them."
[Corporate Average Fuel Efficiency] is among the deadliest government regulations we have," says Sam Kazman, the general counsel for the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a free-market think tank (which, incidentally, has taken in more than $2 million in funding from ExxonMobil).
Mandating fuel efficiency, the argument goes, will force automakers to design smaller, lighter vehicles, which are more dangerous to drive than bigger, heavier ones.
Are bigger autos really better at protecting their occupants? All else being equal, yes. Last month, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), a nonprofit funded by auto insurers, released a report [PDF] that found that both the size and weight of a car are crucial to protecting people in crashes.
To test this, the IIHS crashed a Honda Fit into a Honda Accord, a Smart Fortwo into a Mercedes C class, and a Toyota Yaris into a Toyota Camry, all head-on at 40 miles per hour. In each case, the dummies in the bigger car were more likely to walk away from the collision (or, at least, they would have been if they weren't dummies).