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11/24/2017 4:44:23 PM
11/22/2017 10:05:29 PM
Posted: 8/17/2004 4:55:24 PM EST
www.forbes.com/2004/08/17/cx_da_0817topnews.html

SUVs: Live And Let Die

Dan Ackman, 08.17.04, 10:00 AM ET

NEW YORK - The newly released traffic crash fatality data have something for everyone in the debate about the safety of sport utility vehicles.

First the good news: The roads are becoming safer overall as the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that traffic deaths fell by .8% between 2002 and 2003 to 42,643. The fatality rate, measured either by deaths per mile or deaths per registered vehicle, fell even faster. The death rate per 100 million vehicle miles traveled dropped to 1.48, falling below 1.5 for the first time. Just 15 years ago the rate was well over 2.

The death rate for pedestrians was also down, as were the alcohol-induced crash numbers, suggesting that Americans are becoming safer drivers.

Some press reports indicate that SUVs are more dangerous than cars because people riding in SUVs were nearly 11% more likely to die in an accident compared to people in passenger cars. Indeed, the death rate per 100,000 registered vehicles was slightly higher for SUVs (16.5 deaths per 100,000 vehicles) than it was for ordinary cars (15 deaths). But since there are still far more cars (131 million) than there are SUVs (27 million), a lot more people died in car crashes (19,460) than in SUV crashes (4,446). Even if you add vans and light trucks to the SUV total, more people die in cars.

Pickups, by the way, are about as safe as cars in a death-per-vehicle sense, and vans are safer than either by a wide margin (just more than 11 deaths per 100,000 vehicles).

In rollover crashes, the SUV data looks even worse. The death rate for passengers in SUVs in rollover crashes was 9.75 per 100,000 vehicles. That's 4.6% less than a year earlier, but it is still three times the rate for passenger cars. Because of that rate, and because SUV registrations increased by 12%, 2,639 people died in SUV rollover crashes, 6.8% more than in 2002. The rollover death rate for passenger cars declined by 7.5%.

In separately published data, NHTSA found that the chance of a rollover was much greater in SUVs, with the controversial Explorer models by Ford Motor (nyse: F - news - people ) having some of the worst results. But some SUVs like the Pacifica by DaimlerChrysler (nyse: DCX - news - people ) or Honda Motor's (nyse: HMC - news - people ) Pilot are no more likely to roll over than Toyota Motor (nyse: TM - news - people ) or Subaru station wagons or a General Motors (nyse: GM - news - people ) van. But overall, they do show a much greater tendency to roll, even in controlled tests where driver skill is not a factor. The likelihood that a passenger will die if the vehicle does roll over is much higher for SUVs than passenger cars.

Despite the data, SUVs are continuing to grow in popularity as shown by a 12% increase in registration, compared to 1.4% for pickups and about 1% for cars and vans.

Vans have just slightly higher rollover tendencies than cars, and have just slightly higher rollover death rates, to go along with their much better overall death rates.

Are vans themselves really that much safer, or do people drive vans (which tend to be hauling passengers, including kids) more safely? While there is no way to measure driver skill or caution, there is other evidence to suggest that SUV drivers are different.

Overall, alcohol-related deaths declined by about 3% to record lows (though injuries increased by 6.6%), NHTSA says. The number of deaths declined for motorists in passenger cars by 7.5%. For those in vans, the decline was 10%. There was a decline in alcohol-related deaths for pickup drivers, too.

The exception to this trend was for SUVs. SUV drivers and passengers experienced a 5% increase in such deaths. This increase is less than the registration increase. But it may suggest a lack of care by SUV drivers.

One reason people drive SUVs is that they feel safer being higher up and in a heavier vehicle, even if the actual death rate is higher for SUVs than cars. The NHTSA numbers bear this sentiment. First of all, the number of deaths in two-vehicle crashes between cars and light trucks (including SUVs, pickups and vans) declined for car passengers (including drivers), but even more for light truck passengers. Also, the odds of death in such crashes were much worse for car passengers.

In head-on collisions, 3.3 times as many passengers in cars were killed compared to light truck passengers. Where a light truck was hit in the side by a passenger car, the passenger car occupants were 1.5 times as likely to die. But when a light truck hits a car on its side, the car passengers are 24 times as likely to die.

The good news is that all these scenarios are fairly rare as passenger car-light truck collisions accounted for less than 5,000 deaths in 2003. But when they do happen, SUV drivers are right to think they are more likely to kill than be killed.
Link Posted: 8/17/2004 4:58:26 PM EST
but I like my Explorer...
Link Posted: 8/17/2004 5:33:37 PM EST
Link Posted: 8/17/2004 5:38:41 PM EST
I'm comfortable in my GMC Yukon.
Link Posted: 8/17/2004 5:40:48 PM EST
I'm really sick and tired of this country always being safety this, safety that. You know, life itself is not that safe. Every day we wake up and don't know what's in store for us the rest of the day. Our country was founded on ideas of liberty, eternal vigilance, hard work, perserverance, roughness, not safety. Nothing is safe, just do what works and to each his own. But don't tell me that driving an SUV is more dangerous than going out into public.
Link Posted: 8/17/2004 5:43:47 PM EST
Safety is very low on my list of things I need in a vehicle.
Link Posted: 8/17/2004 5:45:07 PM EST

Originally Posted By A2sights:
I'm really sick and tired of this country always being safety this, safety that. You know, life itself is not that safe. Every day we wake up and don't know what's in store for us the rest of the day. Our country was founded on ideas of liberty, eternal vigilance, hard work, perserverance, roughness, not safety. Nothing is safe, just do what works and to each his own. But don't tell me that driving an SUV is more dangerous than going out into public.

+1, and I think I'm going to run with scissors just because I can!
Link Posted: 8/17/2004 5:48:17 PM EST
Some idiot gets in an SUV and drives it like a car and it rolls over and they expire... +1 for Darwin.

Link Posted: 8/17/2004 5:51:00 PM EST
Pay your money, take your chances. Nobody gets out alive (other than Enoch and Elijah, if memory serves).
Link Posted: 8/17/2004 6:18:11 PM EST
I'm all for safe cars with lots of features assisting me in surviving a crash, but some use safety as a weapon to kill what they don't like (like guns). I'm not sure why 'the prone to tip' is a big concern, as that seems to be a fugitive from the 'Duh file'. Kind of like saying bass boats don't fare well in the ocean.
Link Posted: 8/17/2004 6:21:33 PM EST
*pets his Dodge Ram 1500*

Remind me to install side nerf bars soon...
Link Posted: 8/17/2004 6:23:15 PM EST
I am getting tired of people telling me what I should or shouldn't drive. When someone tells me that I should be driving something other than my truck I tell them to pound sand.
Link Posted: 8/17/2004 6:32:28 PM EST

Originally Posted By VTHOKIESHOOTER:
I am getting tired of people telling me what I should or shouldn't drive. When someone tells me that I should be driving something other than my truck I tell them to pound sand.



Which is all fine and dandy, but be prepared to get told to 'pound sand' when someone hears you complain about how much you spend on fuel.

VT Grad, 1992
Link Posted: 8/17/2004 6:38:22 PM EST
[Last Edit: 8/17/2004 6:39:04 PM EST by fritzthecat]
I bought my F150 truck to drive it, not to crash it.
And it gets 16mpg city / 19 mpg hwy (flying low)


Fritz
Link Posted: 8/17/2004 6:41:14 PM EST

Originally Posted By fritzthecat:
I bought my F150 truck to drive it, not to crash it.

You can't be serious...
Link Posted: 8/17/2004 6:43:54 PM EST

Originally Posted By DriftPunch:

Originally Posted By VTHOKIESHOOTER:
I am getting tired of people telling me what I should or shouldn't drive. When someone tells me that I should be driving something other than my truck I tell them to pound sand.



Which is all fine and dandy, but be prepared to get told to 'pound sand' when someone hears you complain about how much you spend on fuel.

VT Grad, 1992



Why would he complain about the money he spends in fuel? He bought it knowing full well what it'd cost him to gas up.

As did I.

The only time I complained was when I was driving a Durango R/T 70+miles round-trip to commute; I complained because I was paying too much for the truck, not for the gas. At the time, $40/week for gas. Of course, a month after I sold it for a Jeep Wrangler, I found out the office was moving, and I'd no longer have to drive to work each day. Oh well.

Link Posted: 8/17/2004 6:49:45 PM EST

Originally Posted By Evil_Ed:
Why would he complain about the money he spends in fuel? He bought it knowing full well what it'd cost him to gas up.

Then his head is screwed on correctly. I just chose him for example. Too many people buy trucks/suvs then immediatly go into bitch mode and whine about how Exxon/Mobil is making money off their backs.

I've got fuel guzzlers for the record.
Link Posted: 8/17/2004 6:51:47 PM EST

Originally Posted By DriftPunch:

Originally Posted By fritzthecat:
I bought my F150 truck to drive it, not to crash it.

You can't be serious...



Now me on the otherhand, I bought my Volvo's to crash them into walls.
Link Posted: 8/17/2004 6:52:25 PM EST

I feel safe in my Hummer and Lifted Dodge Ram, Thank you.


All I can say is... Pavement Sucks... hy


Link Posted: 8/18/2004 1:33:48 AM EST

Originally Posted By DriftPunch:

I've got fuel guzzlers for the record.




My fuel guzzlers guzzle more fuel than your fuel guzzlers!
Link Posted: 8/18/2004 3:42:08 AM EST

Originally Posted By DriftPunch:

Originally Posted By VTHOKIESHOOTER:
I am getting tired of people telling me what I should or shouldn't drive. When someone tells me that I should be driving something other than my truck I tell them to pound sand.



Which is all fine and dandy, but be prepared to get told to 'pound sand' when someone hears you complain about how much you spend on fuel.

VT Grad, 1992



You won't hear me complain, though we need to drill in the Gulf and ANWR and build new refineries.
Link Posted: 8/18/2004 3:43:34 AM EST

Originally Posted By DriftPunch:

Originally Posted By Evil_Ed:
Why would he complain about the money he spends in fuel? He bought it knowing full well what it'd cost him to gas up.

Then his head is screwed on correctly. I just chose him for example. Too many people buy trucks/suvs then immediatly go into bitch mode and whine about how Exxon/Mobil is making money off their backs.

I've got fuel guzzlers for the record.



BTW are you going to the big game next week?
Link Posted: 8/18/2004 4:04:02 AM EST

Originally Posted By VTHOKIESHOOTER:

Originally Posted By DriftPunch:

Originally Posted By Evil_Ed:
Why would he complain about the money he spends in fuel? He bought it knowing full well what it'd cost him to gas up.

Then his head is screwed on correctly. I just chose him for example. Too many people buy trucks/suvs then immediatly go into bitch mode and whine about how Exxon/Mobil is making money off their backs.

I've got fuel guzzlers for the record.



BTW are you going to the big game next week?



Nope, I'm not a big VT sports fan. I'm a bit of a party pooper, because I think they put WAY too much emphasis on football. As all schools do, they do it do keep alumni happy and money rolling in. I get the alumni stuff, and can't imagine buying a $40 VT sweater for a 2 year old, but I just know that 10,000 people started drooling when they received that catalog.

This being said, I root for the team, and if I've got nothing else to do I'll watch the game.

Link Posted: 8/18/2004 4:20:47 AM EST
Does this report show that SUVs are getting more popular with women?

ktm500
Link Posted: 8/18/2004 4:27:11 AM EST
[Last Edit: 8/18/2004 4:28:51 AM EST by Aimless]
Link Posted: 8/18/2004 4:30:20 AM EST

Originally Posted By 888:
I feel safe in my Hummer and Lifted Dodge Ram, Thank you.


All I can say is... Pavement Sucks...


Evil_Ed, Why do you want to install a nerf bar in your truck?







I was being sarcastic Considering all the boo-hoo about side impacts and such..
Link Posted: 8/18/2004 4:51:08 AM EST
What's the rollover rate for Suburbans?

GunLvr
Link Posted: 8/18/2004 5:02:58 AM EST
Well I know for a FACT that a Isuzu Rodeo is more likely to survive a impact than say a Dodge Caravan when said Caravan and it's idiot driver pull out in front of said Rodeo.

Link Posted: 8/18/2004 5:03:40 AM EST
Oh yea, if a crash, I would rather kill the occupants in the other car than have them kill my wife or daughter.
Link Posted: 8/18/2004 5:28:07 AM EST
Let me see, these jerk-offs spend years and millions of dollars to discover what every redneck has known for years:

He who has the most lugnuts wins!

-Z
Link Posted: 8/18/2004 5:38:24 AM EST
Attention, class.

You too, Sgtar15. Please put the cat carcass back in your desk and pay attention.





Any questions?

Link Posted: 8/18/2004 6:35:04 PM EST

Originally Posted By JBritt:
Oh yea, if a crash, I would rather kill the occupants in the other car than have them kill my wife or daughter.



I feel the same way. My number one reason for buying big and heavy. Screw the gas milage.
Link Posted: 8/18/2004 6:46:43 PM EST
As usual, people always seem to take data and screw it all up.

Of COURSE there will be more deaths "per vehicle" for SUVs. You can cram 4, maybe 5 adults into a little tin can Corolla. Usually there will be 1 or 2 people in the car. I drive around on the weekend with 6 to 8 people in our Pilot.

People tried to pull that crap in MT when they wet their pants about there being no speed limit. Lets say one year one car crashes on a stretch of road, and one guy dies. Let's say the next year one van happens to crash and kill 4 people in it. Fudgers will report "Fatality rate up 400% after speed limits removed". Uh huh.
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