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Posts Tagged ‘unsafeatanyspeed’

SUVs

So SUV stands for socially unacceptable vehicle, right?

No? Sport utility vehicle, you say?

OK, let’s parse that abbreviation.

Excess weight, jacked up centre of gravity, tall tyres, floppy suspension… yep, really sporty (not talking about you Cayenne drivers. Go try outdragging a GT2).

the higher you sit, the further you roll (photo credit: rw Photobug - http://www.flickr.com/photos/rwr/524322342/)

the higher you sit, the further you roll (photo credit: rw Photobug - http://www.flickr.com/photos/rwr/524322342/)

Now, utility-wise, the number of these vehicles with more than 5 seats is… er… come forward, Volvo XC90. Or the Toyota Hilux extra-long cab, or as it’s more commonly known, Fortuner. Apart from that, no more room inside than a typical medium size car. But wait, you say! I lurvvve the utility from the high seating position that lets me tower over lesser mortals! Well then, stop what you’re doing and go read what Mr Gladwell had to say about that.

As for “vehicles” – yes, that they indubitably are. All two tons or so.

Score: one out of three. Very bad, unless you wanna be a scholar at the Ministry of Truth.

I do believe in people’s inherent right to blow their hard-earned money on whatever stupidity floats their boat, as long as the externalities are all built into the price and those affected by said externalities are fully compensated. Clearly there is a lot of work to be done before externalities associated with SUVs are neutralised. Let me count the ways (the first three anyway):

1. Crappy dynamics = more accidents (see Gladwell article).

2. Bloated kerb weight + bigger engine to lug the whole shebang = worse fuel consumption = more global warming = Singapore under water in a couple more decades (might wanna reconsider buying that seafront property then).

3. Drivers who flick through traffic like motorbikes, when their vehicles are an order of magnitude bigger than a bike. Hypotheses: either they are “upgraders” from littler cars and ignorantly leave the same distance around them as before, or they believe they are travelling at relativistic speed and consequently, that their vehicle is shorter than it is when stationary. (Why yes Mr XC90, I’m looking at you. If I can see you, you ain’t at warp speed.)

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Categories: transport Tags: ,