Allstate: Overweight Drivers, Passengers Hurt Vehicle Fuel Efficiency

October 9, 2012

It’s not just the gas-guzzling SUVs that are hurting the driving fuel efficiency.

The growing average weight of Americans is responsible for millions of gallons of additional gasoline used in the country every year, according to Allstate.

Allstate observed there’s a complex struggle between fuel efficiency and vehicle weight. The insurer stated on its blog that federal regulators are requiring 54.5 MPGs for cars and trucks by 2025.

New cars are incorporating materials such as lighter high-strength steel and lightweight aluminum to cut vehicle weight. And replacing CD players with MP3 players and exchanging bulky owners manuals with a digital version on flash drives or iPads are also reducing vehicle weight.

But even as the automotive industry goes to extremes to shed weight, heavier drivers and passengers are adding unexpected pounds.

Allstate states that the growing trend of American obesity is adding unexpected weight to vehicles, making it difficult for consumers to realize fuel efficiency gains.

The insurer observed that 39 million gallons of fuel are used per year for every extra pound added on for the average driver/passenger weight. And the average weight in the U.S. continues to grow, the company stated.

Between 1960 and 2002, 1 billion gallons of gasoline a year could be attributed to the weight gain of the drivers and passengers of non-commercial vehicles, according to Allstate.

Source: The Allstate Corporation

Topics Auto Personal Auto

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