Will President Obama send condolence letters to the families of those killed while riding in cars redesigned to meet new fuel-efficiency mandates (“New mileage standards would double fuel efficiency,” Web, Aug. 28)? It is a fact that in a collision, the occupants in a heavier car have a greater chance of survival and avoidance of injury than do the occupants of a smaller car.
As a pilot and an occasional motorcycle driver, I can justify voluntary risk. Years ago, the Geo Metro was introduced as a lightweight car capable of getting up to 50 mpg. But in order to have a fleet average 54.5 mpg, light cars will have to get lighter and sport utility vehicles and vans will become so flimsy they will fly apart in an accident. Such lightening of vehicles will mean a guaranteed death sentence to anyone tangling with an 18-wheeler.
It is not smart to buy a “smart car” unless you can accept a shortened life span. Has Mr. Obama calculated how much more our society will be paying in medical bills? Or is he counting on lowering the average life span to save money on Social Security and Medicare?