According to a recent survey by R.L. Polk, pickup truck owners rated fuel economy more strongly than all other attributes—such as horsepower and off-road capability—combined, the Washington Post reported November 17. The survey found that pickup truck drivers use their vehicles more for commuting to work than off-roading or pulling trees from the ground. Pickup trucks, the Times report says, have escaped attacks made on SUVs recently for their size, safety and fuel consumption. Industry sales of pickups have been flat this year while sales of large SUVs have fallen 19 percent. SUV owners are more likely to be moms and corporate dads who yield to fuel price fluctuations and cultural pressures, one dealer said in the story. Pickup truck drivers, often portrayed as tough guys in commercials, are not swayed by those forces, the dealer said. The study was commissioned by Environmental Defense, a New York-based environmental advocacy group. Kevin Mills, director of the Environmental Defense's Clean Car Campaign, plans to submit the survey's findings to the federal government during the public comment period as the Department of Transportation considers changes to fuel economy regulations.
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