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Fuel Economy Mandates Cause the Spare Tire to Disappear, Raising Safety Concerns

Corporate average fuel economy, or CAFE, standards are regulations in the United States intended to improve the average fuel economy of cars and light trucks, vans, and sport utility vehicles. The federal government's fuel economy mandates may lead to fewer cars being equipped with spare tires, according to the Wall Street Journal

Spare tires are heroes when VA drivers need them, but fuel economy and safety concerns prompted carmakers to shift toward smaller temporary spares, or no spares at all. The Department of Transportation is considering 62 mpg as a standard for the year 2025. This is more than double the current 27.5 mpg standard.

A smaller spare or no spare allows a car to weigh less and get better fuel economy. When loaded down with too much weight, some vehicles like SUVs become less stable. When there is too much weight, the car can tip over.

Safety relates to when a car owner uses the spare. Virginia drivers can impact traffic safety by familiarizing themselves with tire repair kits, and checking tire pressure before driving a long distance. Often the individual is the worst place to change a tire, and most people have not changed a tire before. The driver has to find a jack, which might not lift the car properly, leading to hazards or death and serious injuries like traumatic brain damage or spinal cord injuries. Instead, it may be better for people to call roadside assistance when they have a flat even when they do have a spare.

In a moment, a car crash can take away a life. To learn more about what to do if you or a loved one is hurt in a car accident, check out our Frequently Asked Questions devoted to the subject.


Richard N. Shapiro
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Personal Injury & Wrongful Death Lawyer Serving Va Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake & all of Virginia
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