SUV - Stupid Useless Vehicles

From the Washington Post, a story noting that in the hands of inexperienced drivers, SUVs are very dangerous (as opposed to just somewhat dangerous).

It's interesting that the family of the teen whose death is the lead of the article comments that the Ford Explorer was "too much car" for her. Actually, it was not enough car. Poorly engineered, top-heavy, and unstable, it's the typical SUV: lots of metal, low performance, low efficiency. Dumb.

Judging from how I see drivers of all ages operating their SUVs, however, I have to conclude that "inexperience" goes on far beyond the age of 20.

There are people who have a good use for SUVs, and make an intelligent decision to buy a gas guzzling, poorly-handling vehicle to accommodate those needs. There are people who just like them, and that's fine, as long as they don't then whine about all the gas they are buying (that goes into the "well, duh" category).

But the auto industry has been remarkably successful at selling the idea that SUVs are safer than passenger cars, though statistically, it's just not true. Their success, unfortunately, does make driving less safe for everyone else. Not to mention the whole fuel consumption issue.

Yes, people have a right to drive what they want, but a society in which people are driving around in Navigators, Escalades, and Hummers to go to the mall or pick up their dry cleaning has a problem. I can understand the desire to have the truck-like legroom and height that many of them offer, but you can get that in a much smaller, more economical vehicle. The gigantic-SUVs are just dumb, dangerous vehicles, and when I meet someone who drives one, I'm immediately wondering what kind of personality disorder led to the purchase. I won't deny there's a certain "wow, fun!" feeling to driving around in a tank like thing for a little while, but I'd hope an adult making a decision about spending tens of thousands of dollars on something they will have for a few years at least would be able to think beyond that.

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