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Auto Efficiency: The Mileage vs. Safety Debate

Since Americans first debated government regulation of the fuel efficiency of passenger cars, it's always come down to safety vs. efficiency: lighter cars get better mileage, the conventional wisdom goes -- but they're not as safe as heavier cars.

Thirty years after that debate began in the energy crisis of the 1970s, does the argument still hold water?

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Kathleen Schalch
Kathleen Schalch is a general assignment reporter on NPR's national desk. Her coverage can be heard on NPR's award-winning newsmagazines Morning Edition, All Things Considered, and Weekend Edition.