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The reckless policies that helped fill our streets with ridiculously large cars

Vox – Dangerous, polluting SUVs and pickups took over America. Lawmakers are partly to blame. Cars, you might have noticed, have grown enormous. Low-slung station wagons are all but extinct on American roads, and even sedans have become an endangered species. (Ford, producer of the iconic Model T a century ago, no longer sells any sedans in its home market.) Bulky SUVs and pickup trucks — which have themselves steadily added pounds and inches — now comprise more than four out of every five new cars sold in the US, up from just over half in 2013, even as national household size steadily declines. The expanding size of automobiles — a phenomenon I call car bloat — has deepened a slew of national problems. Take road safety: Unlike peer nations, the US has endured a steep rise in traffic deaths, with fatalities among pedestrians and cyclists, who are at elevated risk in a crash with a huge car, recently hitting 40-year highs. Vehicle occupants face danger as well. A 2019 study concluded that compared to a smaller vehicle, an SUV or a pickup colliding with a smaller car was 28 percent and 159 percent, respectively, more likely to kill that car’s driver…”

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