GM announced today that it is closing down its Hummer business. While I’m sad for all the jobs that will be lost and of course, the hit to the economy, the rest of me rejoices. Tally one on the good side to rid the world of SUVs!
About three years ago, as I was driving out of a parking lot, I got backed into by what I then called “an SUV-wielding soccer mom.” The woman was clearly not paying attention, overwhelmed by her two children, driving a giant Escalade or something of that nature. Because her two kids needed all that space. Ever since, I’ve been on a bit of a rant about SUVs, and lately, it’s getting worse.
Here’s my biggest problem with “sport utility vehicles” – most people who drive them drive them like there’s no one else on the road. They don’t pay attention and they’re more dangerous than they are safe. I can’t tell you the number of times my little car has nearly been picked off by a merging SUV driver not paying attention, tailgating, or just driving like an a-hole because they think they can since they are driving a tank.
I’ve heard the logic that driving one of these behemoths protects the occupants better than your average car, but I think it’s a crock – 95% of people driving SUVs are driving them for status purposes. Oh, and I know SUV drivers think they need all that space for their children, dogs (yes, I’ve heard this one, too), etc. But give me a break. Growing up, my Mom carted three of us kids around in a little Nissan Sentra and we did just fine. None of us has scoliosis or anything today because we were cramped into a small car.
And let’s be honest – the bulk of SUVs are horrible for the environment. It’s completely irresponsible for someone who doesn’t need to truly drive an SUV to drive one. They are guzzling gas that they don’t need to guzzle – gas crisis, anyone? It’s a waste of energy!
I seem to be getting crankier and crankier about this issue with every passing day, but honestly, I just think these things are the spawn of Satan. Save me the pro-SUV comments, folks. I know them all. I just don’t agree with them. I will keep crusading for an SUV-less society…
Fight the good fight!
And it’s the worst getting stuck behind them on the highway! At least in traffic, behind a little car you can see in front of them and anticipate what’s coming. Behind an SUV, I can’t see anything and I hate hate hate it!
Or next to them when you’re trying to turn and you can’t see around them…UGH.
I’m sure I’ll get blasted for this post (I have lots of friends who have SUVs), but I just hate, hate, hate them!
As a former SUV owner (and possibly future owner), the only thing that bothers me about your post is the broad brush with which you paint mist SUV owners. Yes, many are purchased as status symbols. So are many small and dangerously fast sports cars. Not every SUV owner is absent minded. Not every SUV owner feels they own the road. And yes, many SUV owners make efficient use of the extra space an SUV provides because of kids and their requisite toys, school supplies, sports gear, etc.
I very much agree with you, however, that SUV’s have contributed to the fuel-efficiency problems in our country. I think it’s fair to mention that several manufacturers have introduced more fuel-efficient and alternate fuel vehicles.
Just a perspective from the other side of the room.
Gil – Yes, I agree, lots of people purchase small sports cars as status symbols. And yes, they drive recklessly. But there seem to be a lot fewer of them on the road these days – at least in comparison to SUVs.
Note that I qualified all of my statements with “most.” I’m not saying EVERYONE who owns an SUV is a blithering idiot of a driver. It just seems that with the purchase of an SUV, many drivers become less sensitive to drivers that are in vehicles smaller than they are. And you have to admit that for a good percentage of the SUV-owning population, owning an SUV – with DVD players and all sorts of bells and whistles that you really don’t need to distract you from driving – is a status purchase.
And I did say “the bulk of SUVs.” I will give credit to automakers who are making more fuel efficient versions. But fuel efficient does not a responsible driver make.
To be fair, I have issues with LOTS of drivers on the road – not just SUV drivers. My grandpop and my Dad taught me to drive and drive defensively and responsibly. We all make mistakes while driving on occasion, but it seems like a lot of the population has come to take driving for granted. It should be a privilege and responsibility to those who exercise good judgment. A lot of drivers do not. When combined with SUVs (or sporty little jobs that go too fast for their own good), it does not make for pleasant driving circumstances.
Just my general opinion. There are exceptions.
(And yes, I will freely admit to being distracted by my stereo and finding tuneage sometimes. I am not flaw-free when it comes to driving. Mea culpa!)
In reading your reply, I realize there’s one thing I didn’t mention that I wanted to, and you touched on it with your comments. Bad drivers are everywhere. As a motorcyclist, that terrifies me to no end. Be it people behind the wheel of an SUV or roadster, I want nothing to do with someone who doesn’t pay attention to their driving.
Perfect demonstration of idiot driver today – not in an SUV. Coming through a major intersection, there is a break in the median – clearly marked no left turn (there’s no turn lane and someone stopped to turn could easily back up traffic through the intersection). But she turned anyway – because she wanted to turn there and save herself having to drive an extra 1000 feet to make the appropriate U-turn.
You bet I laid on my horn longer than necessary at her.
Why do people put their own selfish needs ahead of safety???