Focus Point - SUVs Save

Commentary by Pete du Pont

I'm Pete du Pont with the National Center for Policy Analysis. I know this will shock hard core environmentalists and so-called consumer activists -- but a study of light truck and SUV accidents from 1994 to 1997 found that larger, heavier vehicles are safer for occupants in car accidents.

The Rutgers University study, reported by Brock Yates of >Car and Driver> magazine, shows the people in danger are in the light vehicles - and pity the occupants of two lightweight cars that meet head-on.

During the years covered by the study, light trucks and suv registration rose five percent, while single-vehicle fatalities per driver dropped seven-point-five percent -- and multiple-vehicle deaths fell two percent.

In fact, the U.S. has seen a 50 percent fall in traffic deaths over the past 20 years -- just as light truck registrations were doubling.

So for all the complaints about gas guzzling monsters, the monsters save lives. And the so-called environmentally friendly crackerboxes may be lovely for the climate -- but they're hell on the people inside.

Those are my ideas, and at the NCPA we know ideas can change the world. I'm Pete du Pont. Next time, Bush so far.

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