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Anti-SUV Book


Full Member
Jul 15, 2002
Upstate NY
Just ran across an article on MSNBC about a new book coming out about how terrible and dangerous SUVs are. Scary that this has gone from mere articles to someone spending enough time to write an entire book. Admittedly, all I read was the excerpt in the article (http://www.msnbc.com/news/813301.asp), but based on that, I can't imagine getting through the entire book with my blood pressure down. The author does start with true, and sometimes important, facts and points, but then end up running in the most ridiculous directions with them. My personal favorite from the excerpt:

My best estimate is that the replacement of cars with SUVs is currently causing close to 3,000 needless deaths a year in the United States-as many people annually as died in the terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center in New York on September 11, 2001.
Roughly 1,000 extra deaths occur each year in SUVs that roll over, compared to the expected rollover death rate if these motorists had been driving cars. About 1,000 more people die each year in cars hit by SUVs than would occur if the cars had been hit by other cars.
And up to 1,000 additional people succumb each year to respiratory problems because of the extra smog caused by SUVs.

Talk about sensationalism (and I'd LOVE to see the evidence to support that last 1000). Add that to the other questionable conclusions and I'm just not sure what to think. Anyway, just thought you guys might be interested in seeing this.... If anyone reads the entire thing, I'd be very interested to hear their thoughts. Might actually be a well thought out book....or it might not....
LEt me file this book away as one I do not wanna read...
Further, the author was on the Today show this morning addressing those issues, adding that brakes do not stop SUVs adequately, guard rails aren't designed "tall enough" to prevent SUVs from flipping over them after impact, impact of an SUV vs a car causing greater damage and injury, and so on. I had to change the channel. I accept additional risks of the vehicle I drive, as all vehicles have inherent risks. I'd hate to see how I could work my property, haul materials and my family, in a compact car. ;)

I suppose all the fatalities/injuries caused by all the commercial vans, tractor trailers, buses cube trucks and the like haven't been worthy of a book. But of course, those vehicles are a necessary evil, since our industry depends on it.
The only things they seemingly forgot to blame SUV's for are tooth decay, cancer and male pattern baldness!
Why don't we all just WALK!
Maybe we should all just drive the same make and model of cars or better yet bumper cars!
The difficulty with articles or books about this issue is that it creates what is known in economics as a "Prisoner's Dilemma". In other words, the benefits are realized if all participants "buy" into an agreement (in this case, that is buying into getting only cars). As soon as some people "cheat" (in this case, buying an SUV), everyone who had cars are now suddenly worse off, and the only way for them to be back in "equilbrium" is for everyone to "cheat". The result would be of course, magnified problems of pollution, fatalities, etc. well beyond whats in the book. So, the irony of this book is that, in its quest to convince people of the horrors of SUVs, it actually results in convincing people to get them. I know this sounds odd, but, using the economic model, say you have 2 companies (A, and B) who sell widgets. If they agree to sell widgets for $10, they will each sell 1 million widgets and experience $5 in net profit from each widget. Well, that means both A and B make a $5 million profit. Now suppose that if one of them sells a widget for $9, that they will sell 1.5 million widgets. Well, the profit for the defector (say B) will be $6 million, while A will only make $5 x 1/2 million = $2.5 million. So what does A do? A sells for $9 and both end up making $4 million each. This keeps going on, but the net result is that both are worse off for it.

What I would like to see addressed is the fact that the vast majority of "roll-overs" by SUVs comes not from a lack of handling, but from going 4x4 and offroading... something that can't be done with a regular car. I would also like to see what happens when SUVs become more fuel-efficient.

Personally, my wife and I prefer to get an Av to a regular SUV because the Av is wide... the ones that are tall and narrow are just not stable... components can only do so much to control the behavior of physics... that's my $.02
The part of the article that I laughed the hardest at was this:

"The manufacturers? market researchers have decided that millions of baby boomers want an adventurous image and care almost nothing about putting others at risk to achieve it, so they have told auto engineers to design vehicles accordingly. The result has been unusually tall, menacing vehicles like the Dodge Durango, with its grille resembling a jungle cat?s teeth and its flared fenders that look like bulging muscles in a savage jaw."

My wife has a Durango and the description of it as a "unusually tall, menacing vehicle" just makes me laugh. Kinda blows what little credability they might have out of the water.

Happy Trails!
Wow, I had no idea.

Am going to run out and trade-in my Av for a Geo, Kia and Daewoo. And with the extra money I'll take the wife out to dinner.

Sorry, I didn't mean to take it so personally. :-[
I do not think that I'm alarmist, but I see this as just another effort to get the US to emulate European standards and way of life.
I would expect this book to be well footnoted as to where the author found his data. If not, then it is nothing more than opinions.
This worst part of this whole book, TV interview, ect is that the average American will believe it hook line and sinker as many people no longer think independantly or take the time to delve into issue and find out the facts for themselves.
Another example of symbolism and emotion over substance and rationality. Menacing teeth? Give me a break! The author should look at the chrome grilles from the fifties!. Yet another group trying to assign behavioural traits to inanimate objects.
Once again this is propaganda by the eco-communists. The fact of the matter is that deaths on america's highways are down, especially among children, mostly due to the high rate of use of SUVs by american families.

I listened to an hour long rant on the Rush Limbaugh show in which he quoted Federal stats refuting these abusive and deceitful lies by the eco-communists.

They just don't like how people in little rice mobiles get creamed when they encounter one of those gas hog suv's. They want everyone to have equal deathrates in auto accidents just as they want everyone to be equally poor rather than equally prosperous.
Per our TOS ... please no politics........

Thank you.
Back to the Topic.

I wish I had thought of the Idea to write a book about all SUVs. DAM i would be rich. Not that I care about what the book says, I would just like the Money. I think you all get my point. This guy is out for one thing. THE MONEY. When he gets the money do you really think he is going to drive a geo. I will bet he will have at least one SUV.

The bottom line is that people will write anything that will make them money.

Got to love America, free enterprise.
Awesomebase said:
If tomorrow, GM announced an Avalanche that can tow 8300 lbs. and that got 35mpg, and had 300 hp and 350 lbs./ft. torque, I would get it!
Hey, that would be great! Count me in, I want that truck. (y)

Some very good points: Everything else being equal, I would certainly pick the higher MPG. However, I'm not going to trade for a Subaru Baja to get it.

Just remember, it's not the big cars that kill people in little cars by hitting them... it's the little cars that get in the way of the big cars that's the problem. The solution isn't to get rid of the big cars, the solution is to get rid of the all the small cars! >:D

-- SS
MrBill said:
The bottom line is that people will write anything that will make them money.

Got to love America, free enterprise.
If I recall right, in the cover notes for the fourth or fifth installment of the Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy trilogy, Douglas Adams wrote something along the lines of:
Why do I keep writing these books? You would also, if you made as much money off of them as I do!"

I always loved that line, capitalism at its best...

-- SS
Here is a the facts which list all vehicles models for driver death rates for your information. These include the years from 1994 thru 1997 vehicles see if your loved ones are driving any of these and see how you feel then.


2002 Z71 born date 9/01 Leather, Sunroof, Fipk, Flowmaster 40, Superchip (early version)
I liike the bumper car idea. With power lines running along side our highways and byways, that makes them preconfigured to power bumper cars like in the carnivals.
I don't know where the author gets his facts,but stats can be manipulated either for or against any topic. As a police officer I've seen more fatalities involving car on car accidents as opposed to suv on car. I've also seen more cars with their tires in the air than suvs or pu's.
I have not read the book written by this naive liberal, but I'm sure he doesn't answer the question as to how you're supposed to haul anything, in say, a BMW Mini.
I don't have anything against small cars, but as any homeowner knows,you need some type of large vehicle,unless you want to have everything delivered.
That's just the thing about statistics. You can phrase the questions in a manner that will give you the results you wanted.

...and remember 79.98949% of all sttistics are made up.
It sounds as if the author of this book did just enough research to make himself feel well-informed before setting off on his anti-SUV project. I'll have you know that I have had some fairly strong anti-SUV feelings on occasion. We've all seen the soccer mom (no sexism intended) yapping away on the cell phone while inexpertly piloting the Excursion (empty but for 2.4 kids). I had a woman pull up to my bike shop one day in an Excursion, and I asked her for what could she possibly need a vehicle of that extreme size. "I have kids" was her reply. I inquired as to whether each of the kids had been surgically grafted to a pony... When I was a kid, we somehow fit 2 parents and 5 kids in various VW and Peugeot wagons. I suppose those days are gone. My point is this: SUVs as such are not really any more useful than a station wagon, with the exception of their increased towing capacity (big SUVs, I mean). I'm not sure if you can fit 4x8 sheets in a Suburban anymore, I know you could in the old (pre 198:cool: model. But- the Av is not really an SUV, IMHO. It's a truck with useful SUVesque seating and comfort. As for the get out of my way factor... I ride a motorcycle a fair amount of the time. I spend most of that time either getting out of or, better yet, not getting in other drivers' way. Nobody seems to notice my Subaru, unless the weather's crappy, and I go shooting by them as if on dry pavement (AWD, ya know). When I'm in my Chevy pickup, people seem to spend less time cutting me off, and some folks even appear to understand the forgotten concept of "Right of Way"- something that you either have, or you don't. You can only give it- you can't take it. I can't wait to get my Av... 3 tons of nimble, fast, armored respect. Not quite an M2 Bradley, but it might help to make up for all the yielding I do on the bike. Just one guy's opinion...