Requiring Safety Features On Cars Can Increase Death

June 30, 2016 in Daily Bulletin

Alex Tabarrok wrote that in certain circumstances requiring safety features on cars can actually detract from, rather than enhance safety:

  • Indian auto manufacturers recently released a series of low cost cars that have a safety rating of zero stars, due to their lack of features such as air bags.
  • Because they lack any bells and whistles such cars are incredibly cheap – one can be had for as little as $4,000.
  • Adding air bags could cost as much as $400, increasing the price of the vehicle by a substantial 10%.
  • Only 6% of Indian households have cars, but 47% have motorcycles.
  • Any kind of motorcycle is more dangerous than a car. And not even the most advanced motorcycle has features like airbags.
  • If low cost cars can convince Indians to switch to four wheeled vehicles, safety will dramatically improve – even if the cars themselves lack common safety features.

Read more of the argument here.

Source: Marginal Revolution