I wondered why the newer cars all seem to have a higher front, sort of box look to them.
Regulation is increasingly limiting the design perimeters for new
cars, too. Testing has revealed that serious injury can result when a
pedestrian's head strikes the hood. The hood itself acts as a cushion as
it crumples, but that cushion effect ends as the hood impacts the
The new regulations require most new cars have a three-inch space between the hood and the engine block.
But designers can't just raise the hood line three inches without
throwing the entire design out of whack. The windshield and windows must
be smaller. The lip, where the sheet metal rises to the base of the
windows, must be higher. The seats, too, must be higher so the driver
can see over the higher hood, andthe wheels have to be bigger, lest they
appear out of scale with the new proportions.
It's all money well spent, said safety expert Clarence Ditlow of the Center for Auto Safety.
"The cost of regulation saves lives, prevents injuries, prevents
paralysis and overall the government takes into consideration and cost
benefit already and if anything, there's too little auto regulation and
not enough," he said.