Monday, July 16, 2007

The Myth Of SUV Safety

From The Straight Dope:

Ban small cars? Don't be ridiculous, CAFE advocates say. We'd all be safer and use less gas to boot if we banned SUVs. A 2002 study of 84 cars, trucks, SUVs, and minivans conducted for the U.S. Department of Energy concluded that SUVs and pickup trucks had the highest combined risk of any vehicles — that is, risk to both their occupants and occupants of other cars. True, the average SUV protected its occupants better than the average small car. However, some midsize cars protected their occupants just as well as SUVs without unduly endangering the occupants of other vehicles. The study also found that the safest compact and subcompact cars were as safe for their drivers as the average SUV, and safer from a combined-risk standpoint.

Research I had read about several years ago, but have never been able to track down again when I needed it until now. Tell your SUV driving friends.

And there is also the issue of higher insurance rates, partly due to the fact that if, for example, you strike a little old lady in a sub-compact you might break a few of their bones. Whereas if you hit them with an SUV, they tend to squash.


Anonymous said...

My insurance rates are no greater on my SUV than on my old Chev Malibu. I must be an aberration, or its my driving record as a factor.

Anyway, to the substance of the post. ANYONE that buys an SUV because it makes them feel "safer" needs a swift kick to the head.

A basic physics lesson, Force = Mass x Acceleration. More Mass, more force to disperse in an accident. Granted, all over the smaller object. But also, more stopping/braking power need to overcome the force, so your stopping distances are usually greater.

Throw in the larger fatter tires, and in snow or wet weather you have LESS traction, not more (small skinny tires often do better, can cut through to the asphalt better as there is less water or snow to displace).

BTW, I own an SUV because I tow a trailer. Would much rather tow with a sedan, but sedans have little towing capacity nowadays.

Anonymous said...

hmmmmm. . couldn't give a flying crap about the safety thingy, but I'm gonna buy me a big honkin SUV just to piss off all you Warmongers.

Ya . . just for the fun of it.

Anonymous said...

Rolling instruments of death. Murder weapons, really. And the jackoff's drive around in them like race cars, and their bumper is right at your head level. Next time you watch vehicles run through a red light, guess which type vehicle is likely last?

So, a closet liberal in an SUV? Don't you care about 'the environment', you gas guzzling hog! Anybody that buys an SUV PERIOD needs a swift kick in the head. You DON'T need an SUV to tow a trailer. Typical Liberal - "YOU shouldn't have an SUV, but I NEED one."

Anonymous said...

*SIGH* Realizing this is flamebait, but what the hell, I have time.

A) A Liberal politically does not automatically mean a person is an environmentalist, so your causal relationship is way off base.

B) True enough, I don't need an SUV to tow a trailer. Can do it with a pickup truck or a minivan. However I picked the SUV I did because it was the most fuel efficient vehicle in my price range, SUV, minivan or truck. So go suck a tailpipe.

Anonymous said...

And lastly, I never said YOU can't have an SUV (BCL maybe did, but I didn't).

I just said that if you buy an SUV because its safer than a car, you need a quick re-education in physics.

So read, THINK, then post.