Articles like these, "Safety could suffer if we boost mileage by making smaller cars," make me wonder how much the "active safety" vs. "passive safety" conflict that Malcolm Gladwell wrote about a few years back should factor into the debate.

If you have access to The New Yorker archives (or have a few minutes to spend googling), go back and give the piece, "Big and Bad," a read. (At least check out the abstract or related Q&A.) I've always loved the concept of learned helplessness.

--Michelle Cottle