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The War on Cars

The War on Cars brings you news and commentary on the latest developments in the worldwide fight to undo a century's worth of damage wrought by the automobile and make cities better. Hosted by Doug Gordon, Sarah Goodyear and Aaron Naparstek and produced by Curtis Fox. Music by Nathaniel Goodyear. Logo by Dani Finkel/Crucial D.

Mar 19, 2024

It has never been more expensive to insure a car in the United States. Today, the average annual premium for full coverage is more than $2,500, up from more than $1,700 just a few years ago. There are a lot of reasons for this—including the high price of cars, supply chain issues, and the rising frequency and severity of crashes—but no matter how you add it up it’s a huge problem in a country where driving is a ticket to full participation in society. 

Despite this, what if we told you that car insurance is still way too cheap? That’s something most people don’t understand until they or someone they love is directly affected by traffic violence. Today, mandatory state minimum coverage requirements have not kept up with the rising cost of car crashes, something all of us subsidize whether we drive or not—and that crash victims often pay for with life and limb.

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Learn more about Michelle DuBarry and her advocacy for a Made Whole Doctrine in Oregon.

Why Car Insurance in America is Actually Too Cheap, by Daniel Knowles in The Economist.

Buy a copy of Carmageddon: How Cars Make Life Worse and What To Do About It by Daniel Knowles and get books by previous podcast guests at our official page.

Steve Vaccaro: “New York City’s best-known lawyer advocate for bicyclist and pedestrian rights.”

Auto Insurance Spike Hampers the Inflation Fight (New York Times)

NHTSA: Traffic Crashes Cost American $340 Billion in 2019

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This episode was recorded by Josh Wilcox at the Brooklyn Podcasting Studio. It was written, produced and edited by Doug Gordon. Our theme music is by Nathaniel Goodyear.