You know, I've never really understood why anyone average would buy an SUV
. It's become anti-trendy-trendy to bash on them, but there's reasons. Increased costs in both car and gas mileage, horrible emission standards, and absolutely no real need for it for most owners. But of course there's one argument for SUV ownership that sounds pretty good. Safety
. Despite their increased chance of rolling over due to a high center of gravity
(3 times as likely, 37% fatal compared to standard rate of 15% for passenger cars), it's pretty obvious that you've got a better chance of surviving a crash
if you're in a large, heavy souped-up-minivan-masquarading-as-a-truck-to-avoid-environmental-regulatio... I mean, SUV. Ahem.
Thing is, what happens to the occupants of another far more economically-sized car that gets hit by an SUV? Well, they've just been hit by a car that could possibly weight twice as much, so that probably causes problem, but there's many heavy cars. The real problem is SUVs typically ride eight inches higher than a normal car and feature heavy steel rails, so all that kinetic energy (Kinetic Energy equals Mass times Velocity squared) goes directly towards the unfortunate passengers. Little surprise that crash test dummy studies showed that about 2000 fatal car crashes would have been survivable, if hit by passenger cars of the same weight as opposed to SUVs. And that's just the ones they can prove one way or another. The unhealthy nature of SUVs is pretty apparent when you realize that traffic accidents between light trucks (SUVs get thrown in here!) and other vehicles account for the majority of fatalities despite light trucks composing only one-third of registered vehicles. And it's usually not the ones in the light trucks who are dying.
Having never been in a car crash (I know I'm going to die from cancer one day anyways), what I find the most amusing about this is the irony inherent in the drivers who choose SUVs. To be blatantly stereotypical yet supported by my idle surveys on the highways of Los Angeles, urban folk. People whose idea of roughing it is Club Med. Soccer moms.
The people who showed up at the Million Mom March and howled for guns to be taken away from legal owners. No howls for criminal enforcement, since godsknows that's not going to work, but we must do something! Think of the children! Not evil people, just blind towards history and the sins of the world. The kind of people who keep on promising "Never again!" at every new genocide as opposed to those who realize that all political power comes from the barrel of a gun. But I digress.
What I find amusing is that most of the arguments against handguns can be easily applied against SUVs.
They kill people.
They certainly do. I don't own an SUV, and I sure hope I never get hit by one of the murderous things. Why my chance of dying should go up so much because someone wants a fashionable car, I don't know.
No, I meant... but if I don't drive one, I could get killed! Once they're available, I need to have one! I wouldn't drive one if we could ban them all!
I'd give up my right to bear arms if everyone, including the police and the army, of this country and all others, gave up theirs. If you can't ban SUVs, you think a gun ban's going to work?
No, but... I'm a responsible driver! I know how to use an SUV, and I'm not going to kill anyone in an accident!
Amusing how you can promise to not have fate strike driving, but you can assume that all legal gun owners are so irresponsible as to necessitate confiscating their weapons? Of course, most legal gun owners don't commit crimes with their weapons, and criminals aren't going to care about laws anyways.
By buying an SUV, you are assuming an increased risk of killing someone. Yet you have such issues with someone else risking the same thing in a different way. Even worse, for most people the choice of an SUV isn't necessity but style. I don't know a better way to defend oneself than a gun. But what are you going to do, licensce SUVs only to those who can claim need? Why outlaw either? Let's have people treat both responsibly.
Obviously, an SUV and a gun are not an identical purchase. But in some ways, they are comparable. Just think about it.
Note: I am not discussing gun locks, waiting periods or such, so please don't bring it up. There's some such measures that I support. I am addressing people who wish to ban handguns and guns period.
Thanks to www.suv.org and http://bitch.shutdown.com/soccer_moms.html for supporting information.