The writer is a retired fuel systems engineer.
To the Editor:
I don't understand all the arguments about safety vs. weight ("Resuming the great debate: Safety vs. weight," May 9).
On I-94 from Detroit to Chicago, there are as many big rigs as there are passenger cars. There are thousands of vehicles on that road every day, summer and winter, and often traffic is bumper to bumper. I don't think the death toll on that highway is any worse than the national average.
Big and little can live together, just as they do in most European countries, where little is necessary for fuel economy.
There should be a weight tax on cars and light trucks. For those who think Momma needs a four-wheel-drive, 4,000-plus pound monster to transport the kiddies safely, it would cost an extra $1,000. The same fee would apply to cars over 3,000 pounds.
If designers had a base weight figure to work with and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration people came up with additional safety items that added weight to the vehicle, the manufacturer could petition for a break on vehicle economy.
For trucks, let's start hauling trailers rather than adding beef to the truck for hauling capacity. A 4,000-pound truck with proper gearing can do a lot of towing and still be fuel efficient without the trailer.