Sunday, November 20, 2005


Is anyone else concerned?

Going on runs, bike rides, driving - SUVs are an epidemic! They are as unavoidable as they are horrible.

Here are the reasons SUVs are regretful and unfortunate:

1. Waste. I hate waste. There must be something within me that simply doesn’t like to see a lack of efficiency, which is what I see every time a single 200 pound man (or 100 pound woman) driving a 2 ton SUV passes by. It induces within me the same uneasy feeling I get when I see a refrigerator door left open, or seeing rotting food.

2. Usage. SUVs use more gas, thus supporting the tyrannies of Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Kuwait, the religious theocracy of Iran. Their rich oil supply enables these countries to stay deficient in technology and culture, a phenomenon whose burden we currently bear.

3. By using more gas, SUVs expel more CO2, a greenhouse gas, which may end us as a civilization. Not now, not next year, but our grandkids and great grandkids may reap the inheritance of man made climate shifts. I’d prefer them to be spared things like famine.

4. Safety. Not only rollovers. SUVs have more mass, but are not equipped with proper safety features (that would cut into profits), they will get into more accidents. For those who do not believe this, consider the stopping power of an SUV going 40 mph vs. a Jetta. Remember that momentum is mass times velocity. And then there’s simple data: 16.4 SUV occupant deaths per 100,000 SUVs on the road, 14.8 per 100,000 car. Note that's SUV occupant deaths. Another way of saying this is that SUV occupants are 11 times more likely (relative risk) to die in an accident.

5. SUV bumpers are raised and often times raised further by bumper additions. Perfect height for the level of a child's head, should a T-bone accident occur.

6. My inconvience. The parking spaces: these spaces are not designed to handle the SUV super size.

Those are just reasons. They can be argued. Idiots tend to ignore them and go to the ‘this is America, I can dress like I want, think like I want, and drive like I want’ line. This is true. You may also burn flags if you’d like, but that doesn't mean I have to approve of your behavior. You may also beat your dog, but that doesn't mean it's responsible or ethical behavior.

I’m just concerned. I think responsibility and ethical behavior are important. And I think that driving an SUV is irresponsible on a local, political, and global level.

I’d actually like to start a group of like minded responsible drivers. I’m not a fanatic in any way, so those who are interested in damaging property - don't post. I don’t want to start a road-ELF club. I’m simply interested in hearing from other concerned people.

SUV drivers are welcome. I’m interested to hear why you made your vehicular choice, knowing all the effects that stem from owning an SUV. Email me if you’d like, or post for all to see and comment on.


Blogger Ilanna said...

Doc - I agree wholeheartedly. My husband has what would TECHNICALLY be an SUV but i wouldn't classify it that way. IT's a Subaru Forrester. It's what a common road based SUV SHOULD be... reasonable gas economy, lower/carlike profile, but with all wheel drive and space for 5. with lots of cargo. I have a mazda 6. nice midsized sedan.

I can't STAND when i need to have someone in the backseat or behind me just so I can back out of a parking space because I have 2 SUV's on either side of me. My car isn't really a SMALL car, but it's still so dwarfed. The only legitimate purposes for the SUV is when you have that many family members you need to cart around regularly. (with dogs etc.) Though a minivan would server just as well. the SUV is the "hip" minivan, but there's a limit to it's excess. I like Companies like toyota that are at least offering hybrid options for one of their SUV's (the big highlander, not the tiny Rav4.) Suv's like Hummers are just... they are just status symbols and nothing else - There is no NEED for a vehicle like that to drive paved highways too and from work... they are just ridiculous.

I'd be glad to join your group. :)

5:29 AM  
Blogger marie antoinette said...

Do you think that the increased accident rate may be because of how SUV owners drive?

Not that they're always bad drivers..more like that an SUV enables a bad driver to become a worse driver. Like me, even if I wanted to speed, my car can't really go more than about 80 mph before it starts making funny noises. Whereas if you put me in an SUV, I could probably get that sucker up to 120 or so.

12:22 PM  
Blogger acumamakiki said...

We had an SUV and one of the most popular versions out there. In our neck of the woods, it is the car of choice. Built like a tank, if it had rolled over or collided, I'm sure we'd have been safe. That was the reason we bought the car originally. Except we couldn't see a damn thing when changing lanes, backing up or doing anything except going forward. In fact, I had one backing up accident and my husband had 2 in the 18 months we had the car. Not to mention the gas-guzzling it did!

Downsized to a car/station wagon that has the back hauling capabilities but is much more efficient and we can actually be 100 percent that it's safe to go.

2:08 PM  
Blogger Ern said...

I don't have a problem with people having a big truck type vehicle if they use it. My BIL has a huge Ford F350 (I HATE driving it, it is ridiculously big, but he loaned it to my hubby and I when we moved, and that was very nice.) But I don't mind his vehicle choice because he tows a horse trailer and hauls hay with it. He actually has a second smaller car for a daily driver. It's when people have them just to have them that I am bothered. Yes, they seat 7. Does anyone remember station wagons? That's what big families drove when I was a kid.

10:18 PM  
Blogger laurenbove said...

I bought my first and only car (Jeep Cherokee sport) in 1999. Back then I dont' think there was the same awareness that there is these days. I bought it b/c I lived in the woods and had to get to work each day regardless of the extreme conditions. I needed 4x4 to get out of my k2 mountain of a driveway. I needed that job.

These day's I wish I had an economy car or better yet, an electric car. I was even looking into biodeisel and buying an old deisel vehicle that can easily and cheaply be retrofit to burn this excellent fuel. The byproduct of which is h20. The fuel itself is a specially filtered soy oil that can be recycled from say....McDonalds.

I agree with the need to eliminate our dependance on foreign oil and the propagation of the OIL BARRONS and our own vice prez and prez's connection to all of the above.

But, I can't afford a new (used) car yet. I drive in personal shame and self loathing.

12:58 PM  
Blogger Doc NOS said...

I actually think that the Jeeps aren't all that horrible. The SUV's I think of are the large Fords and various GM monsters.

12:01 PM  
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