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Low Rider Nation

Last week the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) proposed bumping the current rollover roof-crush standard from 1.5 times a vehicle’s unloaded weight to 2.5 times. Hard as it is to say, they may be on to something.

A study shows Americans are getting more obese everywhere except Oregon and are going to carpool (by carrot and stick) if gas prices stay high or rise. Thus, the load in the average car is going up.

Consider a 2,500 pound car with a 350 pound driver and three 220 pound passengers carpooling to flip burgers, late shift. If all are belted in (Leviathan wants workers safe and will fine), the car’s loaded weight for rollover calculations is now 3,510, not counting golf clubs in the trunk, etc. This puts our quartet only a few shopping bags from the old 3,750 pound requirement.

While most government regulation of Detroit is unnecessary and politically motivated (this regulation alone will cost the auto industry $88-95 million a year), sometimes it works by accident.

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Mr. Moffat is a freelance writer in Bethesda, Md.

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