Automotive engineers express misgivings about new regulations

August 8, 2011 12:00 AM

The Obama administration and automakers have agreed to set an average fuel economy standard of 54.5 miles per gallon for 2025, a move that was widely praised by environmentalists. However, not all are enthused about the new regulations.

The updated rules call for a fleetwide-average of 54.5 miles per gallon by the listed date, which means automakers will have to significantly improve their fuel efficiency over the next decade and a half. Many believe that advanced technology will greatly increase fuel efficiency, but for the time being, engineers are concerned about the effect on vehicle safety.

A recent poll by Wards Automotive found that 75 percent of all automotive engineers surveyed expressed misgivings about the potential safety flaws that could result from such regulations, reports CNN Money.

The relationship between safety and efficiency isn't exactly harmonious. Smaller and lighter vehicles tend to have higher miles per gallon ratings, which means automakers seeking to improve efficiency cut down on weight whenever possible. This is often at odds with safety, as added safety devices tend to up the weight of a vehicle.

One way to keep your vehicle safe is to stay on top of maintenance. Things like regular vehicle inspections, maintaining your tires and keeping up with brake service and repairs can reduce the chance of an unexpected incident on the road.

Back to news