U.S. NTSB chair raises security considerations about heavy electrical autos

WASHINGTON, Jan 11 (Reuters) – U.S. Nationwide Transportation Security Board Chair Jennifer Homendy on Wednesday raised considerations in regards to the elevated threat of extreme harm and loss of life from heavier electrical autos on U.S. roads.

She cited a Common Motors (GM.N) GMC Hummer EV that weighs over 9,000 kilos, up from about 6,000 kilos for the gasoline model, and the Ford F-150 Lightning EV (F.N), which is between 2,000 and three,000 kilos heavier than the non-electric model.

The heavier weight “has a big impression on security for all street customers,” she mentioned Wednesday in a speech. “We’ve got to watch out that we aren’t additionally creating unintended penalties: extra loss of life on our roads.”​

GM mentioned “security is on the cornerstone at every thing we do. All GM autos are engineered to fulfill or exceed all relevant motorized vehicle security requirements.” Ford didn’t instantly remark.

Homendy’s feedback come because the U.S. has seen a pointy rise in visitors deaths for the reason that begin of the COVID-19 pandemic and U.S. autos get hold getting bigger on common.

The Environmental Safety Company mentioned final month common new car weight and horsepower each hit new data in 2021 with common car weight hitting 4,289 kilos in 2021 as SUV and truck gross sales rise and each are forecast to hit new data in 2022.

U.S. visitors deaths jumped 10.5% in 2021 to 42,915, the most important quantity killed on American roads in a yr since 2005, after rising 7% in 2020, and declined barely within the first 9 months of 2022 however stay excessive.

Appearing NHTSA Administrator Ann Carlson advised reporters Monday that the company was learning the impression of auto dimension on roadway security. Carlson mentioned the company was “very involved” in regards to the “diploma to which heavier autos contribute to higher fatality charges.”

She famous that some subscribe to the “mantra that larger is safer” however that didn’t essentially bear in mind different elements.

“Larger is safer should you do not have a look at the communities surrounding you and you do not have a look at the opposite autos on the street,” Carlson mentioned. “It really seems to be a really advanced interplay.”

Reporting by David Shepardson; Modifying by Leslie Adler and Christopher Cushing

Our Requirements: The Thomson Reuters Belief Rules.

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