Modern vehicles are fitted with a large amount of safety equipment, from seat belts to airbags, from ABS brakes to pedestrian safe bumpers. We’re certainly not here to debate the issue of having these features but why should we need to continually add more and more safety and driver assistance features when driving skills are never updated or maintained.

Governments have put into place the systems of measuring the CO² that a car produces which tells them how efficient it is. This makes sense until you start to look into the the insides of vehicles.

Everything you add to a car, adds weight. This weight then effects the performance and efficiency, so why are governments and legislators contradicting themselves by pushing cars to be more efficient but then requiring car manufacturers to add more and more safety features? Why not enforce tougher legislation on drivers? Teaching someone to drive more efficiently and safely doesn’t add any weight into the car and it can help prevent road accidents. Why aren’t drivers tested every few years to make sure that they still have the skills to drive? When it comes to your eyes, you are meant to have them tested every two years because they deteriorate and yet, a license that allows you to go out in a machine that can kill you doesn’t get rechecked; why?

Vehicles themselves should be checked regularly and not just the day you pick it up from the dealer. A car that has been maintained and had its regular services is certainly going to be more efficient than some 20 year old clunker that’s full of rust and spits out oil. So why aren’t there tougher rules about car maintenance?

Roads themselves are something that need to be maintained in a better way. Bad road conditions, such as ripped tarmac, can effect the efficiency of the vehicle because it cannot drive in a streamlined manner. Poorly maintained roads can also lead to an increased number of accidents.

But what else can Governments do to help efficiency? Why not start with practising what you preach and instead of the private jets and limousines, why not look to more efficient means of transport, especially when going to an international energy conference.

The push for car makes to come up with a green car whether it be full electric, hydrogen, etc, is a wonderful initiative, but the biggest problem is that the same people that want these new green cars, are the same people that won’t allow for homeowners to have either own solar or wind power at home. Surely there comes a point where someone has to realise that no matter how green car makers make their vehicles, unless they are powered from a green power source, it’s never going to fix the problem, just shift it from oil to copper. We know that particularly in the UK there has been a lot of objection to wind turbines in some of the smaller villages because people think that this will be an eyesore. Personally, I love wind turbines, there is an elegance to them that I love, but what these communities don’t realise is that what happens when the oil does run out and you have no other means of power? How will you get to and from work? What if you need to get to the hospital?

What about all the new buildings and homes going up around the world? Why is there not tougher legislations on the efficiency they should have? Just like the small villages, what happens when car makers introduce these green vehicles into the world, how do we power them? Shouldn’t this be something that governments start putting into place now?

If governments really want to make a difference, then rather than focusing blame on the automotive industry, they need to start looking at what makes something truly efficient.

Image from British Wildlife Rehabilitation Council

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