Detroit Free Press investigation into the deadliness of the SUV:
For sure. That's why I'm so dismayed that carmakers are emphasizing SUVs and trucks so much now. Americans -- although I'm not saying every American -- in some childish way seem to want everything supersized, from their houses to their meals to their vehicles. I stand at the bus stop and cringe at the percentage of SUVs I see go by with one person inside. We are the most grotesque country in the world when it comes to ego and overdoing everything. And not to go all political, but it's now coming from the top, like a snowball rolling down a hill.
It's not carmakers emphasizing SUVs or trucks as much as consumers refusing to buy anything but SUVs, trucks, and CUVs. Sedan sales have been steadily dropping to the point where Ford and possibly other carmakers have plans to halt the sales of sedans in the US.
I view this as a combination of vehicular arms race (drivers choosing a big heavy tank to protect themselves, without thinking about consequences for others), drivers looking for something to carry a family or a bunch of stuff in vehicle more attractive than a minivan, and a relative lack of good station wagon-type options. The Subaru Outback and Forester are the closest to the latter, and they have both gotten bigger in recent years.
Jim - I agree about the "supersized" thing. It's gotten way out of hand. I like my Honda Civic and refuse to drive a freaking bus - on those rare occasions when I drive.
Honda Civic FTW!
The parents driving full-sized trucks would accuse you of disregarding the safety of your children by transporting them in a tiny deathtrap.
So true Jim.
Very valid points, but just playing devil's advocate for a moment. Bigger cars sure do come in handy when you have two car seats and bulky strollers. It's amazing how fast your spaces shrink when 1-2 more humans become occupants. Upsizing is not always the result of materialism.
That would be a good argument except for the fact that the U.S. birth rate is the lowest it has been in 30 years. More valid factors might the the all-time high obesity rate and American parents' obsession with having the largest and most elaborately-equipped strollers in the world. The upsizing of both people and their worldly goods in this country is indeed, in my opinion, caused largely by the materialism of Americans. Along with everything else, we want the biggest bowl of pasta, too. This is not to say that I am immune myself.
SUV's don't kill! Drivers Kill!
"SUV" is a marketing term that is used to describe a rather wide range of vehicle types, but the increased market share of such vehicles is not a phenomenon limited to the US - it is seen worldwide, from South American to Europe to Asia.