I don't know whether to laugh, or be upset, buy the gross generalities of that article. I guess that everyone who drives a VW Beetle (new or old) is a pot-smoking hippie, or that everyone who drives a mini-van is some out-of-touch suburbanite Mom, or that everyone who drives a Ford F150 pick-up is a red-neck or that everyone who drives a Porsche is a 45 year-old male going through a mid-life crisis and is trying to compensate. Why did I buy a Nissan Pathfinder? I bought it for the same reason that many people buy their cars-I like the way it looks. Does it make me feel powerful and more secure? No, though during winter I do really enjoy the 4-wheel drive aspect and the heavy frame. Besides, what vehicle do my wife and I take when we have haul a lot of stuff or need to pick up extra large items for the many home-repair projects we have going-definately not her Chrysler Cirius. Sure SUV's have their downsides, but so do most other vehicles
Well, not many SUV's are very capable off-road anyways. If you wanna go offroading go get yourself a Jeep CJ-4 with big old tires and a lift kit. In this part of the world the added clearance really helps if you're not into shoveling your driveway.
I think the piece was an opinion editorial rather than a hard news story. Look at the site it was posted on; it's an alternative site, implying a different opinion than is typically found in the "hard news" press.
A good response would be, "Oh yeah? Says you!" and leave it at that.
I personally think it's good that this ones writing and researching SUV's and far away from food. He need to step off the curb so I could swirve in his general direction with my Blazer.
Analyze this, Blazer, VW bug, 4 minivans, a luxury car and a 66 comet cyclone.
Although, 9 out of 10 here, drive 4 wheel trucks and SUV's and I I can't remember an incline here much less a hill.
Everyone's understandably upset about the psycho-babble profile of owners of SUV's in Stephanie Mencimer's review of the book, High and Mighty, by Keith Bradsher. But if you go back and reread it, you will see that Bradsher is only quoting the profile that the auto company executives and market researchers have made about SUV drivers. As I read that review, those remarks do not originate with him, but are reported by him. It is the automakers who are characterizing the people who buy their SUVs in this obnoxious way. Don't shoot the messenger.
As a reporter for the NYT and chief of their Detroit bureau, Bradsher was told to look into the safety of the SUV's. That research led ultimately to "High and Mighty." For me the important part of the article was the issue of the safety of the SUV both for the owners and for others on the road. Unfortunately it got buried in the industry generated psycho-babble.
I'm wondering what you'all think about the question of the safety of the SUV's to owners and others, particularly since some of us here seem to drive them and of course all of us drive among them.
I know that many people are attracted by four wheel drive, believing it to be safer. Are you worried that you are at greater risk in SUV's than in other kinds of cars? Would you get a different car with four wheel drive next time, say something like a Subaru? (Which I'm considering for my next car.)
Just got done with another sanitation class-had to do Wisconsin's though I am already certified in Illinois. One thing the instructor mentioned is that the media likes bad news. It is what sells the news. He went on to say that a freelance writer friend of his wrote an article on restaurants that were doing things right (not failing health inspections miserably), and couldn't sell the article to anyone (and this is was a well published guy). The point is, the media likes bad news. They look for it, they hunt is down. It's what makes their headlines.
That said, let's face it. All cars have the weak spots-their safety issues. Sports cars are always being brought up. And with the resurgence of Minis, in popularity I am sure the media will tout them as unsafe, since there is not much between the driver and another car. I remember at one point people were concerned about mini-vans since they had very little in the way of front ends. Are SUVs 100% safe? No, but then again what car is? Are there some fools out there who think that 4 wheel drive makes them invincible on snow and ice? Sure, but there are still people who believe that owning a sports car entitles them to drive 100mph. Let's face it, it's cool to bash SUVs right now and it will continue to be that way until the media finds something else to occupy its time.
i would highly recommend the subaru. i bought one of the first 4wd sedan models in 1984 and would probably still be driving it if i hadn't been in an accident with it. i think it had about 150,000 miles on it when i traded it in for a suzuki sidekick(another decent choice) which i traded for a nissan frontier with 4wd.
out of all the vehicles the subaru performed the best in snow and maintenance was pretty minimal - changed the oil, and normal wear and tear. the next would be the sidekick, i kept that for 10 years, the fuel economy was still good on it when i sold it and there was only some minor rust on it. the truck is ok, but needs to be put in 4wd if there is a couple inches of snow, my son's sentra with front wheel drive actually handles better. i bought the truck for the cargo space, but am now thinking of trading it because of the way it handles in the snow.
i like to have something with the 4wd as i hate driving in the snow and having lived on some steep hills swore i would never do without it. and i like the height of the truck so that i can see what's ahead of me, until i get behind one of those big expeditions or land rovers or escalades......
SUVs are far from the least safe vehicles on the road. The long time leader of fatalities is the Corvette. Similar to the SUV that tends to be a driver issue more than a reflection of the safety of the car.
There are a lot of factors at play in the SUV game. Yes they are higher from the ground, a higher center of gravity and can be tipped more easily than other cars. But not tipped easily.
The "notorious" Isuzu Trooper and Consumer Reports. Consumer Reports had to use a trained test driver to tip the Isuzu. A "common" driver could not have manuevered the Trooper at the speeds of the tests through the cones. additionally, the tipup outriggers added to the Trooper played some effect in their test. So yes, you can tip the Isuzu more readily than a passenger car. But that's not the whole story. The very nature of the off road vehicle precludes cetain motions. Drivers have to adapt to their choices. This is true in all cars, not just SUVs.
Here's a personal experience for you. I'm driving my Kia in rush hour traffic. The car is fully loaded for a trip, four people and their gear. The car infront of me flips up a large piece of tire tread. There is no where to go as I am locked in for evasion by the traffic. I don't have time to slow down. All I can do is hit it. My wheel flipped it up into the car body and dented it. But I had the clearance to mostly drive over it. If I was in my CRX at the time, It would have been much more serious and likely have tangled into my drive train and steering on that much lower slung car. That would have been a multicar accident.
The issue of SUV hazard to other drivers is falsely reported. First off the class of SUV is generally misused by the press. What they are talking about usually is a whole class of light truck, which also includes the PT Cruiser.
The Dodge Durango shares the same grill as all the other Dodge trucks, a slight modification of the Dodge grill logo common to ALL but two of their models. This is research? This is reporting?
Or how about You can not use the word kill accurately in this sense without establishing who caused the accident. That is poor journalism, even quoting someone else. If the driver of the "lesser vehicle" is at fault blaming the SUV and it's driver is asinine and a complete abdication of responsibility. Bad reporting/research, very popular true, but bogus use of words and statistics purely to malign a class of vehicle you have an agenda against.
Driving a larger vehicle is no endangerment unless that driver causes the accident. Do SUVS cause more multivehicle accidents? I have seen no such data. They do lead in single vehicle accidents.
Except the Windstar is an "SUV", a light truck. It has the larger mass, higher ground clearance and bumpers. Not as high, but by all proper use of the term SUV, the Windstar is an SUV.
Let's mix a bunch of different statistics to create a misleading paragraph. We'll take all the accidents off all SUVs, including cars we're not really maligning here, but we need the numbers. We'll include mostly single vehicle accidents to indicate that the cars are all hazardous and pain them all with a broad brush that applies to only some or even most of the cars, but not all of them. This is glittering generalites to support the agenda and not accurate reporting of facts. Junk. Dare I say excrement? Why are SUVs the largest group? There's more of those on the road than any other class of vehicle right now! Because the Class is so broad and includes vehicles the writers aren't thinking about.
Hmm maybe they're not as deadly as they think. So that would account for all the rollover deaths, not the roofs caving in? Which is it ? There is no accuracy in this article nor the common sentiment it is reflecting.
[/quote]Government researchers have found that a behemoth like the four-ton Chevy Tahoe kills 122 people for every 1 million models on the road; by comparison, the Honda Accord only kills 21. Injuries in SUV-related accidents are likewise more severe. [/quote]
But who's at fault. If I'm driving an SUV and the other guy causes the accident and has more injuries because of his "lesser vehicle", I don't care. The fault issue is critical to the use of the statistic.
Some truth here, but they ignore some things. Who's at fault, and the extra momentum (energy to be dissipated in the crash) of the the larger vehicle. But not all SUVs are large. Of the maligned off road style 4 wheel drive sub class, half the models are as small as most sedans. And instead of increasing safety in these passenger cars, they want to take something away from others? What kind of logic is that if not controlling and anti-social?
Lies. The bumper will hit the door. It's the rest of the front of the car that comes in the "vulnerable areas". Yes, some SUV's are jacked up enough for the scenario described. But not most factory models. That this is a lie as stated does not diminish the injuries incurred, true. But it totally discredits the arguments they want to make for lowering the bumpers.
Well, yes and no. There are some frightening studies on the death toll caused by the CAFE standards on fuel economy that resulted in lighter flimsier cars. Equalling more deaths.
Where's the linking data to attribute that to SUVs and their drivers being at fault? None? gee, that's surprising.
Yes and no. They are painting the whole class on a few again. Most SUVS are sold with street tires. Shoddy brakes is also misleading. Larger vehicles take longer to brake period. It's a simple engineering fact and brake design doesn't have a lot to do with it. In the end it comes down to the friction area of the tires with the road. A brake that could dissipate the extra energy of a larger vehicle at the same rate as the brakes on a small vehicle would lock up the tires, leading to skidding, leading to less efficient slowing and stopping.
BS, pure and simple. Again, the class of SUV is so large and includes such lousy image cars as mini-vans that this statement is just stupid. The writer means a specific sub-class, but that wouldn't paint with the broad brush to accomplish the agenda. The opinon piece referred to here is no different from the book. The author uses the term SUV but only discusses certain cases that don't illustrate the whole class.
And driving a Kia, that's image? Not.
It's not that you can't see past an SUV to drive safely. It's not that an SUV tends to stop more slowly that makes them unsafe.
In each of those cases other drivers following too closely for their own safety are at fault, though SUV drivers can also exhibit those characteristics too.
All drivers are supposed to drive such that they can stop in the distance they can see. Not just SUV drivers. Those things you don't like about SUVs? Those are things you as a defensive driver are supposed to adapt to as a safe and responsible driver.
But as with much of society, no one wants to take responsibility. That is why who is at fault in the accident is such a critical piece of the puzzle. If drivers aren't safe, it doesn't matter what any one else is driving.
How lucky you are. You get to drive BLM land. Borg Warner cases are the absolute bomb. Mine won't even make it the first mile of the Rubicon trail, though it does well in the mud and getting to remote places in the boundary waters.
I used to have a Hyundai Excel when I first moved to Idaho. I finally sold it not because it had 145,000 miles on it, but I went through a herd of elk, and the car was never the same after that (although it did make it home and subsequently to the dealership). Before that, I had, over the course of the prior 5 years, hit 5 deer, broke a wheel hitting a football-sized rock, got it stuck in at least 1 foot of mud, took it on gravel passes 9000+ feet to go rockhounding, lived down a dirt road for most of the time I owned it, and get it high-centered on boulders on several occasions. I like to say the car had spirit. I took it on mountain roads that would power it out if you did'nt get a good run at it. After that we started buying Subarus. Our last Subaru would'nt make it up Mt. Antero (elev. 14,100 ft), just not enough torque. We just got an Isuzu Rodeo a few months ago but haven't had a chance to take it rockhounding. Yet. I guess this Spring I'll get to see how it does in the "gumbo".