Thar be danger on the roads

for blog Originally uploaded by Payton Chung

This graph comes from the Pew Center on Global Climate Change’s recent report (by researchers at Argonne) on greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector. More powerful engines and heavier cars both increase fuel consumption and therefore auto-related emissions.

Yet this also demonstrates that cars today are much more dangerous weapons than they used to be. Faster, heavier cars have more momentum, and when they hit someone who isn’t armored (a pedestrian, a cyclist), they’re more likely to kill or seriously injure that person.