SUVs are often demonized as wasteful and unnecessary. But according to a recent article by the National Center for Public Policy Research, government edicts themselves have helped to make SUVs and minivans so popular. For starters, many states require children five years and younger to be restrained in child seats at all times, and the government recommends all children under 12 ride in the backseat. This makes it nearly impossible for a family with three or four kids to fit into a passenger car, let alone bring any of their young friends. Since occupant fatality is also about six percent lower in SUVs for most kinds of crashes, it’s easy to see why larger cars are the vehicles of choice for many Americans.

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