SUVs

If you got yourself an M-1 Abrams, you would no longer have to call yourself EX Tank! :wink:

Let’s. Some other relevant examples:
[ul]
[li]Camaro (V8, auto) 17/25[/li][li]Corvette (V8, auto) 17/25[/li][li]BMW 540i 15/21[/li][li]Acura 3.5RL 18/24[/li][li]Crown Victoria 16/21[/li][/ul]
Same high fuel costs and emissions. Why single out SUVs?

I will happily concede the rollover risk. The SUV buyer makes a conscious decision to buy a vehicle with a higher rollover risk. No big deal. Fact is, rollovers are still relatively rare compared to other accident types, and thus, the safety of an SUV in these types of accidents outweighs, at least in the mind of the consumer, the higher rollover risk.

Regarding SUVs vs cars. Cars have been getting smaller over the years due to increased government regulation (emissions, fuel economy) and the desire for less expensive (both to own and operate) vehicles. A small car is inherently less able to protect its occupants in any type of collision. A compact car will come of very poorly in a collision with any large vehicle, Crown Victoria, BMW 7 series, Lincoln Town Car, Dodge Ram, etc. Again, why pick on SUVs?

I think the safety debate comes down to an unwillingness on the part of small car buyers to acknowledge that their cars are by nature less safe. It should be obvious that a Geo Metro, for all of its desireable qualities, gas mileage, ease of parking, low cost, has some very un-desireable features as well, mainly small size and low weight. Why does the onus fall upon the SUV driver? Isn’t the owner of the Metro just as guilty for buying a car that is so dangerous to it’s own occupants?

The basic fact is, SUVs are not dangerous when operated responsibly. By the same token, a Honda Civic is dangerous when operated irresponsibly. There is no valid reason for singling out SUVs or their owners as being particularly dangerous.

gEEk

I know you are. I’m agreeing with you as well. We’re just one happy agreeable family…:wink:

The point I wanted to get across is that I was not prepared to bad mouth SUV’s as virulently as some fellow sports car enthusiasts do for the simple reason that somebody may one day turn the tables on my little pocket rocket. As Tradesilicone said, I don’t want to be placed in a position of justifying a 300hp two seater which burns gas like air… well, it burns both really… but I digress…

Besides, being a real car nut myself, I find interesting qualities in almost all types of motorized vehicles. The key is tailoring your driving style to the capabilities of the vehicle. Many people on the roads don’t seem to get that part of it.

tradesilicon said:

The qualities that make a car “sporty” also make it safe. Great handling, effective brakes, and decent acceleration are traits that keep a car out of accidents.

My main SUV complaint is that they’re unnecessarily big and heavy. My eye level is about equal with the door handle on most SUVs. Their lights shine right into my rear-view mirror. I need to stop way behind them at lights if I want to be able to see when the light changes. They take longer to stop and turn than a smaller vehicle. The high ground clearance and cushy suspension = a sluggish vehicle with a tendency towards decapitation of drivers in smaller cars.

You may have the right to buy any vehicle for sale, but I have the right to bitch when you put my life in greater danger through your vehicle choice.

tracer said:

Motorcycles simply aren’t practical for most people. They require special clothing and have almost zero storage space.

gEEk said:

Yes, but an SUV driven irresponsibly is more dangerous than a Honda driven irresponsibly, merely through its much larger mass and poor handling.

Yes, folks. A irresponsibly driven small car will only kill you half as dead as an irresponsibly driven SUV will. Whatever you do, watch out for those varying degrees of deadness. If Miracle Max hadn’t known about them, why, Westley would never have been revived!

Ooh, we all know that humor triumphs over basic physics!

A 7500lb Ford Excursion will hit with much more force than my 2000lb Honda CRX going the same speed. The high ground clearance also makes decapitation more likely. Frankly, I think that a big, ol’ Excursion or Suburban bearing down on me is much scarier than anything that can be found in the Pit of Despair.

An SUV can haul a large boat with a full family inside. The family totals seven, filling the SUV. The boat is quite heavy. Name a civilian vehicle that can do that with the same level of comfort. SUVs have the comfort level of a van with the power of a truck. I’d rather have one vehicle on the road instead of two: One for the boat and one for the passengers. Just more efficient.

Hee hee! Glad you liked it, lawmill, you’re allright in my book. A lot of folks wouldn’t have known how to take that. :slight_smile: Made me smile to even think it.

I remember tooling about town in my Bitchin Camaro, looking up at the bumpers of the guys in the big trucks and SUVs. Scared the hell out of me.

Honestly, I am quite the careful driver. I tend to have more problems with people in small cars, by my perspective. They tend to be more likely to jump in front of me suddenly, expecially when I’m accelerating it seems. And, every morning, I have to merge over into the right lane to make a turn. I have learned that in this stop and go traffic, I have to turn my blinker on over a mile from the turn to make it. Usually, the only people that will let me in are those in similarly large vehicles. I watch the guys in small cars keep JUST enough space between them that I can’t move in.

Sometimes, when I am running late, and have been treated especailly discourteous that morning, I admit, I’ll take the lane by virtue of size and superior horsepower, counting on the fact that people might back off when they see that I’m coming the hell over NOW. It’s like bullying my way in. I don’t like to do it, it scares hell out of me, but come on. A MILE?

In short, it’s not the car that makes people drive like a dangerous asshole. It’s the fact that they’re a dangerous asshole in the first place that makes them drive like one.

And Lawmill, I still maintain that dead is dead, unless you’re living in Florin, or believe in reincarnation. :smiley:

ExTank, I feel your pain. I get 12/15. Such is my price for needing a 5.9 liter. Wait till I get that damn supercharger bolted on! Har har har!

Lots of people drive SUVs for “safety”. I admit, SUVs are safe, FOR YOU. In a crash, an SUV will handle better, because they tend to RIDE UP OVER THE HOOD of cars and smash into the pasenger compartment. Your SUV driving self will survive, but I think you ought to tell the other parties family that your car decapitated them. The only reason SUVs are “safer” is that they have SUVs to run into. If everyone drove standard cars there wouldnt be any SUVs to need to be safe from. It is like nuclear proliferation. You need it because if you dont have it everyone else will, and by getting it you force everyone else to have it. All it is doing is raiseing the stakes, and in the end it is the person who cant afford the SUV that gets killed.

Yes, you ought to be able to buy and SUV, but you ought to use it responsibly. I am sorry, if you have less than four kids, don’t go on rough terrain often, or use the cargo space on a less than weekly basis, you dont need one. By polluting and potentially decapitateing others, you are being irresponsible to society. And in my experience, SUV drivers rarely need an SUV. I infer that from both people I know and the fact that rush hour traffic is full of single drivers in their SUVs heading to suburbia (try counting the one day). Sure they MIGHT be coming back from camping, sure they MIGHT feel compelled to veer off and go offroading on someone’s front lawn, and sure their seven kids that they are hauling MIGHT be invisible, but it is far more likely that they are driving their yuppy machine back from the office, not even bothering to carpool with all that space.

And no, I dont just hate SUVs. I hate all objects of conspicuous consumption that harm other people and the environment for no apparent reason other than status (see pargraph above). I hate the stupid monster trucks with quad cabs (admitting that you dont actually need all that space) and welded on shells proveing that the owners dont intend to be hauling around anything that might mar the paint job. I dont complain about vans, buses, semis and the ilk because for the most part the drivers use them for a useful purpose, they are specialized vehicles, not primary vehicles (most people who own semis also own a less unwiely vehicle) and they just arent as prevelent. If it became hip to haul Jr to soccer practive in a semi I’d get upset about those too.

A final rant, whenever I see an SUV, all I can think is the owner is trying to say “I am more important than you, others, or the earth we all share”. The only people I can think of that would make that statements are jerks. Therefor, every SUV hits me like a slap in the face to humanity.

That is because you ignore any argument that does not support your own. You think that the right to own an SUV does not also come with the responsibility to drive it safely and not endanger others. This has been the large issue at hand. While there are environmental issues, most of it is about the fact that many drivers behind the wheel of an SUV power trip, attempt to rule the road and cause others to feel unsafe at any speed.

But, with a smaller car, the damage potential is far less.
My boss drove a Mazda RX7. Dinky car. A woman driving an SUV backed her car up onto his hood. She almost destroyed the car and killed my boss. She wasn’t looking. I’ve seen countless SUVs not signal when changing lanes and almost sideswipe cars, zoom through stop signs, and go around cars, drive onto a sidewalk, and keep going to get where ever they want a little faster. This is not something that could happen as easily with a smaller car or a bike. Most drivers for UPS, Fed Ex, or a moving company wouldn’t take the risk because they could lose their job. Someone would call into their work and get them fired. While accidents happen, SUVs are currently high on the list.

What is inconsistent to you is that you don’t care to listen to anyone else’s opinion than your own. Somewhat like when you ask your wife if it was good for her and then fall asleep. :wally

Please explain to me firstly why having a quad cab admits that I do not need the space of my pickup bed.

Secondly, explain why having a shell means that means that I will not haul anything that will mar the paint job.

Thirdly, explain why having a truck that fits both of those categories renders it useless instead of serviceable. My truck is a daily driver. I keep it clean, and attractive. I use it very frequently for off road activity, as well as hauling things. In fact, I am RIGHT NOW waiting for Home Depot to open. I am purchasing large quantities of wood with which to rebuild my garage.

I find your generalization offensive.

And Hastur, I have found your statements, while occasionally valid, to be otherwise worthless. I cannot understand your 100% confrontational attitude. Perhaps your posts would be more fitting in the pit, to complement your personality. I do not know.

What I do know is that you are a prime example for why an ignore feature would be useful on the board. Congratulations, you’re the first to earn that dubious honor.

Given our fairly wealthy North American culture with it’s worship of things automotive, it is hardly surprising that most folks will go to tremendous lengths to justify their automobile purchace. A car is not just a mode of transportation, it’s a status symbol and often an island of peace with steel and glass borders to hide from an otherwise intrusive society. That is why people get so attached to their automobiles and so detached from society while they are behind the wheel. Car manufacturers have done their darndest to encourage that kind of mentality. Just think of all the accessories available for cars these days, and I don’t just mean the ones from the manufacturers themselves. We have cup holders with electric cups that plug into the cigarette lighters to keep your coffee warm. We have better climate control in cars than most office buildings. The seats cradle you and warm your butt at the click of a button. What used to be a simple AM/FM cassette is now stereophonic sound with CD changers and 12 speakers. Windows operate at the flick of a switch. Entire chains of restaurants are devoted to providing food to us in such a manner that we don’t have to get out of our precious cars. Banks have drive thrus as well. We have car phones and mobile fax machines. Most laptop computers can be plugged into the car’s DC power supply. Even regular oil changes can be accomplished in a Jiffy without getting out of the car. If it were not for a lack of fascilities, we’d have hardly a reason to leave our cars.

But none of this is more true than in the large SUV. There used to be a time when these trucks were real utility vehicles. No bells and whistles but simple and pure work horses. A/C was a luxury item rarely seen in these vehicles while the bare floors were terminally covered with mud and dirt from workboots. Now we’ve got the luxury SUV! Leather, climate control, plush carpeting, electric everything, mag wheels and all season radials, metalic and pearlessent paint finishes, sunroofs, 12 speaker stereos. I ask you, would you pile a load of cement bags into the back of an Infinity QX45? How about some lumber in the back of a Lexus SUV? I know, drywall sheets in the back of a Mercedes ML430… where would you put it? Fact is, a great majority of these pretenders are not fit to act in any utility minded manner. As for the great big Ford Executioner and GM Suburban Assault Vehicles, a great majority of the time they are completely unnecessary. A great many people will come on and tell you that they haul 7 kids and a boat and firewood. I am tempted to believe every one of them. However, for every legitimate SUV user, there are 10 monster SUV owners that don’t need 'em, never have and never will. I happen to live next door to a family of 4 with 2 drivers and 3 SUV’s ranging from a Cherokee right up to a Suburban. The wife takes the Suburban to work, alone. The Husband takes one of the other SUV’s. The kids are very young and stay home with a sitter. They do not camp. They do not haul wood. They do not pull boats. They do not need these behemoth trucks they own. But they gotta have them because they can and they feel quite justified to do so.

I am of the mind that statistically, SUV drivers are not worse or better than any other drive on the road. However, the potential for collateral damage caused by a 7,500lb SUV is far greater than in the case of an average 3,500lb sedan. The same error in judgement, the same lapse of reason and the SUV driver has the potential to inflict far greater damage in proportion to the great mass of their vehicle. It’s true that small econobox drivers should shoulder some of the blame for being more vulnerable to injury than drivers in the average sedan. However, a large SUV poses a greater danger still because it presents a disproportionate hazard to every other car on the road. This is what I find so tragically wrong with the unjustified owership of these monsters.

gEEk wrote:

Here’s an article about this very topic, which appeared in The Wall Street Journal two-and-a-half years ago:

Large Vehicles are the Solution, Not the Problem

" . . . This is what I find so tragically wrong with the unjustified owership of these monsters. - Quicksilver"

      • “Unjustified ownership”. Hmmmm , , , ,
  • Isn’t there something about socialism, that goes “from each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs”? If I want to pay for a larger vehicle than I “need” (by your standard of judgement), why can’t I spend my own money the way that I wish? If I want to pay for a vehicle with more interior space and increased crash protection, why can’t I?
    If I get a bigger house, will you complain about that too?
    If I get better medical care, will you complain about that too?
    If I send my kids to a better school, will you complain about that too?
  • As far as the question of “disproportionate hazards” goes, if a current SUV and a 1960’s typical American car were involved in a collision, I’d bet the outcome would be fairly close to even. Eco-frauds keep insisting that you can take a 5000 lb car and remove 2000 lbs of metal and have a car that’s just as safe in a collision, and it’s a pure, total lie. SUV’s haven’t gotten larger, it’s the cars that have gotten smaller. Ask yourself this: how many saved gallons of gas is your like worth? - MC
      • Well nuts. Last line should read “Ask yourself this: how many saved gallons of gas is your life worth?”

SUV drivers tired of hearing all of the stereotypes???..Anyone who pays $30,000+++ for a vehicle that is built for off-road use should be ridiculed. because the only off-road use it sees is when soccer mom backs over the flower bed.

besides they just proliferate this consumer society that we live in and continue that wasteful cycle of greed and personal debt.

      • Yea, right. As opposed to a country where people have no debt. Like, say, , , , , , Cuba. - MC

MC: I’m confused, where on earth did socialism come into it? You seemed to introduce it pretty much randomly…

…course, I haven’t slept in about 48 hours, so maybe I’m missing the blatantly obvious; enlighten me.

Nope, only if your decisions make my life more dangerous. I don’t care how you spend your money, so long as your vehicle doesn’t endanger my life.

So we haven’t made any automotive safety advances in the last fifty years?

SUVs aren’t just big, they have a very high ground clearance. This makes them prone to rollovers and the decapitation of us small car drivers. If you need to carry the whole family, buy a minivan or “custom” van. The high ground clearance designed to improve offroad performance may look sporty to you, but I get to look your bumper right in the eye.

In the rest of the world, the Ford Focus is a midsize car. SUVs are monuments of inefficiency that simply have no place in the automotive world of most other countries.

Yes, we can all own big cars, but cyclists and pedestrians won’t get any bigger. In a non-motorist’s mind, a small car is “safer” than a big car. It brakes more easily, sees low objects better, has much less momentum/hitting force for a given speed, and doesn’t have a nasty tendency towards decapitation.

The thing that I find interesting about the arguments in this thread and the previous SUV threads is that some of the posters think that they can know how the driver uses her vehicle just by looking at her.

For example, in the Pit thread, tiggeril invokes the stereotype of the “fluffed suburbanite housewife.” WTF?

How does he know what that woman does with her vehicle? How does he know whether she “needs” it or not?

An example: My dear auntie drives an Infiniti SUV. I’ll bet if tiggeril saw her driving down the road in her shiny behemoth, he would criticize her. Does she look like a fluffed housewife? Maybe so. She is an extremely well-groomed 70-year old woman. So, I’m sure he would assume that she has the SUV for fashion purposes.

Well guess what? She’s an antiques dealer who is always hauling furniture around. She needs the cargo space. And she lives in a semi-rural area where she regularly drives on unpaved roads. And her driveway is pretty treacherous, too. Maybe she could get by without 4-wheel-drive, but she certainly uses it.

So, looks can be deceiving. And yeah, you could dick on her for having the Infiniti instead of the Pathfinder if you want, but don’t assume that she really ought to be driving a Camry.