Several years ago, we asked the question, are SUVs evil? We’re used to these huge vehicles in the US, and the high price of gas means we’re seeing fewer of them, but they’re fairly new in the UK. Doctors there say that the people who drive them are putting themselves, as well as other people, at risk.
SUV drivers take more risks, because they feel safer, surrounded by all the metal. While they ARE safer than a small car in a collision, they are much more dangerous when it comes to rollovers, the type of accident for which air bags offer no protection.
Researchers in London observed almost 40,000 SUV commuters for an hour in the morning and evening, during weekdays and found that these drivers were almost 4 times as likely to be using cell phones and were also less likely to use seatbelts, despite the fact that this is the main thing that can save you in a rollover accident and driving while talking on a cell phone has been shown to increase accidents.
One indisputable danger of SUVs has to do with pedestrians?a US study shows that people who were hit by SUVs were four times more likely to die than those hit by smaller cars.
In the British Medical Journal, Dr. Lesley Walker writes, “In general [SUVs] reduce the risk for their occupants but increase the risk for everyone else. In using a [SUV], instead of a normal car, one’s chance of death or serious injury falls by four in 1,000 but the chance of killing or injuring others rises by 11 in 1,000, with a resulting cost to the community.”
In the Independent, Jeremy Laurance quotes UK Energy minister Malcolm Wicks as saying, “There will come a time when it will be irresponsible for [them] to be on sale.” Due to their higher level of greenhouse gas emissions, that time may have already come. For over a year now, we’ve been warning you to sell your SUV?because soon, you won’t be able to give it away.
Art credit: freeimages.co.uk
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