ultralight-weight vehicles

jalen / jason

Are the fundamental responsibilities of safety engineers compromised

The fundamental responsibility of a safety engineer is compromised by the design of this lightweight car. If you specify that a case should be designed so that it is light as possible regardless of safety concerns, then a safety engineer has to essentially dream up reasons why the car he is designing is safe, i.e. risk homeostasis theory, instead of actually implementing safety devices. - University of Virginia


The government should formulate the safety requirements, not the engineers themselves. - Delft University of Technology

cost-benefit analysis

The major ethical difficulty in conducting a cost-benefit analysis where human life is at stake is that one can sometimes find oneself in the moral gray area of putting a price on human lives. - University of Virginia


The essence of a lightweight car is its weight and usually cost. These are difficult to combine with safety. Both weight and costs give restrictions to the opportunities for the use of safety systems. If there are no lightweight alternatives to conventional safety systems an engineer will have to decide his/her own safety limits. This decision is an ethical problem. - Delft University of Technology

trade offs

- lightweight versus safety


- lightweight versus costs


- lightweight versus recycling


- fuel efficiency versus safety

Should lightweight cars be required to meet government safety regulations

The lightweight cars should be required to meet all of the safety and design standards previously set forth by laws and regulations. However, buyers may be provided [an] incentive to buy the Eco-friendly cars with tax breaks, gas rebates, etc. New legislation will be required to incorporate the new design into the transportation infrastructure. This may be in the form of lowering existing speed limits or setting insurance rates for the lightweight case (i.e. putting control on rates if insurers fear an increased liability for less-safe and unproven vehicles) - University of Virginia


Lightweight cars should not be required to meet existing safety regulations as safety of lightweight cars is based on a totally different concept. As with motorcycles a different set of safety regulations should be developed for lightweight cars. - Delft University of Technology