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Insight of the Day: The reckless policies that helped fill our streets with ridiculously large cars

The article discusses the impact of the increasing size of cars, particularly SUVs and pickups, in America. Here are the key points highlighted in the article:

  • The trend of larger cars has led to a decline in low-slung station wagons and sedans on American roads, with SUVs and pickups dominating new car sales.

  • Over 80% of new cars sold in the US are now bulky SUVs and pickups, compared to just over half in 2013, despite a decrease in national household size.

  • The phenomenon of car bloat, referring to the expanding size of automobiles, has contributed to various issues, including road safety concerns.

  • The increase in traffic deaths, particularly among pedestrians and cyclists, is linked to the dominance of larger vehicles on the roads, which pose greater risks in accidents.

  • Heavier vehicles require more energy to operate, leading to increased fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, impacting the environment.

  • The additional weight of larger cars accelerates road and tire wear, straining maintenance budgets and releasing microplastics harmful to ecosystems.

The article also touches on the reasons behind the popularity of larger cars in the US, such as consumer preferences for spacious vehicles, especially during periods of low gas prices. It points out that policies, tax loopholes, and tariffs have played a role in encouraging the production and sale of larger car models, contributing to the prevalence of oversized vehicles on American roads.

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