Why We Do Not Have 100 MPG Cars

Safety regulations add about 500 pounds to a car today, which kills gas mileage.  So if we did not have such regulations, would cars be unsafe?  If we are against government mandated safety-regulations, are we against auto safety?

Safety depends on the driver, not the car.  Younger less experienced drivers also drive lighter cars.  So guess where fatal crashes cluster in statistics.

The NHTSA only shows since 1994.  But look at this graph outlining the progress in reduction of highway deaths.   Notice anything?  Where are car safety features mentioned?  Well, seat belts.  Good call.  Airbags, mixed review (airbags and automated braking systems give people false sense of security so they tend to take more risks, eliminating the benefit.)  So what are we left with in the graph?  Most safety advances come from rules and regulations. not technology.

If you oblige drivers to put infants in rear-facing child seats, enforce drunk driving laws and check speeding, there are less deaths.  Indeed!  If you constrain people enough with enough laws, and throw enough people in prison, things get safer.  So government regulation does work, in its own way.

But which of the government regulations would we not have if the insurance companies were responsible for auto safety?  What if we had no National Highway Traffic Safety Administration?

Well then insurance companies would have to take on the expense of writing the rules of the road for their clients, not the government.

Now you may say, the NHTSA has only a $3/4 billion budget, only 750 employees averaging $140,000 per year (averaging, including secretaries)... that's cheap as government goes.

But it is only one of thousands of billion dollar agencies we do not need, and collectively, cannot afford.

Right now we borrow money from the Chinese to pay for this agency.  Do you think insurance companies would pay employees as well?  Tolerate waste fraud and abuse among the workers?  Come up with nonsense regulations among the sensible ones?

The cost of this benefit would drop tremendously if we were to eliminate it and shift it onto insurance companies, where it belongs, where it once resided before being taken on by rent-seekers.  And remember those pointless auto safety features?  Insurance companies would demand them only if they proved effective.

So we'd likely have lighter car, safer drivers and much higher mileage. It is how free markets work.

0 Response to "Why We Do Not Have 100 MPG Cars"

Posting Komentar