Is Bigger Better?

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Don Quijote, Jun 28, 2003.

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  1. Don Quijote

    Don Quijote Guest

    EVOLVE OR DIE!

    Once upon a time lived a race of dinosaurs whose violence and appetite alarmed everybody... One day
    a Little Ant, tired of feeling stepped upon in their little bicycles, and worried about her
    cooperative enterprise, came up to the Americanus Raptor--the biggest dinosaur of them all--and
    asked: "Why you always have to protect the right of the dinosaurs, who do nothing but eat everything
    in their path? Why don't the little animals get a fair share of this world?" Then the dinosaur, who
    had a bad temper, replied: "Bigger is better, so get lost..."

    The Little Ant, then, gathered the whole cooperative and said: "Comrades, our world is being
    threatened by the dinosaurs, so..." And at that precise moment the Earth was hit by a big ball of
    fire, destroying everything but the small animals...

    Poll taking place at...

    http://engforum.pravda.ru/showthread.php3?s=&postid=248289#post248289

    Pitting Fuel Economy Against Safety By DANNY HAKIM

    DETROIT, June 27 — For years, automakers have cited studies contending that thousands of people
    die annually because fuel economy regulations force the companies to make cars that are not
    heavy enough.

    Larger vehicles, the argument goes, may guzzle more gas but they offer more protection, whether one
    hits a tree or another car. The argument has been a central one when efforts emerge in Congress to
    raise fuel economy standards. And it is taken seriously by the Bush administration, which has
    started an effort to rewrite the fuel economy rules.

    The problem with this argument is that it now has little relationship to the American road. As
    safety advocates point out, the lightest cars have virtually disappeared from American roads over
    the last 15 years, while the largest vehicles — including sport utilities and pickups — have
    ballooned, both in number and heft.

    The portion of cars that weigh 2,500 pounds or less, which was 18 percent of all passenger vehicles
    sold in the 1985 model year, has fallen to less than half a percentage point, according to the
    Environmental Protection Agency. In fact, the average American car has been steadily gaining weight
    for a decade and a half.

    Over the same period, the growth of the largest vehicles has only expanded weight differences that
    are widely acknowledged to be deadly in collisions. Moreover, the largest vehicles are increasingly
    not cars but sport utilities and pickups, which ride much higher than cars, increasing the danger to
    people in cars and the likelihood of deadly rollovers.

    When the government created fuel economy regulations after the energy crisis of the early 1970's,
    few imagined they would become a flashpoint because of an entirely different issue — safety. But the
    official the Bush administration has chosen to preside over the effort to rewrite the rules, John D.
    Graham, says saving lives is as important as saving gasoline.

    Dr. Graham, the regulations administrator of the Office of Management and Budget, has argued since
    his years as a Harvard professor and risk expert that fuel regulations have cost thousands of
    American lives because cars were made too light — in Detroit, the phenomenon is called
    downsizing. Auto lobbyists have cited Dr. Graham's work, and other research, in opposing tighter
    fuel standards.

    Now Dr. Graham is chairman of an intra-agency group rethinking the fundamental structure of
    corporate average fuel economy regulations, or CAFE standards, for light trucks — sport utility
    vehicles, pickups and minivans — for the 2008 model year and beyond. The group also includes the
    National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, whose chief, Jeffrey W. Runge, will play a central
    role; the Energy Department; and the E.P.A.

    Ds. Graham said in an e-mail exchange that the administration's intention was "to stimulate more
    fuel-saving, technological innovation while protecting safety and American jobs."

    He said he did not want to press automakers to make most light trucks lighter. "CAFE reform does not
    make sense if it forces consumers to purchase vehicles that are lighter or smaller than they need,"
    Dr. Graham said.

    But he also said, somewhat surprisingly, that there were problems with vehicles that are too heavy:
    "A downsizing of the heaviest light trucks could be a net positive."

    He said the country would be better served by less diversity in vehicles, in terms of weight and
    size. In effect, he is playing to both sides of the debate, arguing that bigger is better — but that
    too big is not better.

    Now he faces the difficult task of selling his ideas.

    "The curious thing about the administration's effort on this proposal is that it is opposed by all
    of the major stakeholders, by the U.A.W., the environmental groups and by the major automakers,"
    said Alan V. Reuther, the top lobbyist of the United Automobile Workers union.

    The union fears that domestic automakers will abandon production of smaller cars under a Bush plan
    and focus on their profit center: sport utility vehicles and pickups.

    Automakers expressed a range of views, but always concern.

    "What the auto industry and other industries support about Dr. Graham is that he does strive to base
    decisions on sound data and sound science, and that's a mantra of business," said Gloria Bergquist,
    spokeswoman for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, the industry's main lobbying group.

    "But when he's starting to take on changes to CAFE, it makes us nervous because it's very
    complicated and it's something that we've wrestled with for 30 years."

    The notion of Dr. Graham's presiding over the debate is anathema to environmentalists, who doubt
    that conserving gasoline will be a priority, and safety groups, who do not trust him because the
    Harvard Center for Risk Analysis, which he founded, was partly financed by automakers.

    "It's clear he's doing this on behalf of the auto industry," said Joan Claybrook, president of
    Public Citizen, a consumer advocacy group and a critic of Dr. Graham.

    She said the effort should be led by the agency she once ran, the National Highway Traffic Safety
    Administration. "That's why they create these agencies," she said.

    Dt. Runge, the traffic agency's current administrator, has a leading role because his agency
    actually writes the regulations, though Dr. Graham has used his power in the budget office
    before to reject a tire pressure regulation proposed by the traffic agency.

    The two men seem closer to the same page on the weight debate. Dr. Runge called Dr. Graham "a very
    valuable player in helping the administration navigate through this thorny issue."

    "This is very important to the future of the country," he added. "It may seem arcane outside of
    Washington, D.C., but it affects everybody in our nation."

    Fuel regulations are so strewn with loopholes that several auto lobbyists said they preferred "the
    devil we know."

    Today, each automaker's fleet of passenger cars is required to average
    27.5 miles per gallon. Light trucks are required to average 20.7 miles per gallon. The Bush
    administration has already raised that figure, to
    28.2 by the 2007 model year.

    But the system allows automakers to assume their vehicles are about 18 percent more fuel-efficient
    than they actually are. They also get special credits for making some vehicles that can substitute
    ethanol for gas even though few customers realize they have such an ability.

    The largest sport utilities and pickups, those with a weight greater than three tons, are not even
    part of the regulatory system. That means automakers do not have to count many Hummers, Toyota Land
    Cruisers or Lincoln Navigators, to name a few.

    Perhaps the ultimate quirk is that regulations meant to save gasoline led the auto industry to dump
    the station wagon, because it qualifies as a car, and create new classes of family haulers, like
    sport utilities, that qualify as light trucks. As a result, the fuel economy of the average new
    passenger vehicle is at its lowest point in 22 years.

    But many automakers and their allies have long argued, and continue to argue, that saving
    gasoline kills.

    Tough regulations would "exchange body bags for oil barrels," Jerry Curry, the top auto regulator
    during the first Bush administration, said in 1990. In 1999, Michigan's senators, Carl Levin and
    Spencer Abraham — Mr. Abraham is now the energy secretary — wrote to colleagues that higher CAFE
    standards would equal more vehicle deaths because cars would be made too light.

    Last year, to ward off another attempt to raise fuel standards, the industry ran advertisements
    suggesting farmers would be forced to haul hay with subcompacts and warning: "Fuel economy is
    important. Safety is vital." Trent Lott held up a picture of a tiny European Smart car on the Senate
    floor — it was purple — to warn that Americans would be forced to drive such Lilliputians.

    Sam Kazman, general counsel for the Competitive Enterprise Institute, which has sued the government
    to halt even small regulatory increases, said in a recent statement that fuel regulation "kills
    thousands of people each year by forcing vehicles to be downsized and therefore less crashworthy."

    But Clarence M. Ditlow, director of the Center for Auto Safety, said
    Du. Kazman "has no argument on small cars because the small cars have gotten bigger."

    "When you look at today's fleet, manufacturers have not met the regulations by making small cars,"
    he added, but by improving technology.

    Dv. Ditlow argues that safety problems could be alleviated — and gasoline saved — if the separate
    standard for light trucks were scrapped. But the industry has blocked several efforts to do so.

    On average, cars have been gaining weight for a decade and a half, to 3,408 pounds today from 3,013
    pounds in 1987. Some additional weight has come from new safety systems like air bags. Car weights
    have consolidated at 3,000 to 4,000 pounds — a trend that on its own would help safety because cars
    are more alike in terms of weight than they were 30 years ago.

    If the lightest cars have vanished, so have the behemoths of Motor City's last heyday — the
    two-and-a-half-ton Lincolns and the battleship station wagons. Even after bulking up in recent
    years, passenger cars are below the 4,071-pound average of 1975.

    Large cars have been supplanted by light trucks, which have grown to more than half of sales today
    from a fifth in 1980. Sport utilities and pickups are gaining faster than cars, to 4,569 pounds
    today from a low of 3,840 in 1987, increasing the weight disparity on the roads.

    The industry's arguments were bolstered by a 2001 National Academy of Sciences report, which said
    that cars being made too light caused 1,300 to 2,600 deaths in 1993.

    But the finding drew dissent from two of the academy's panelists, and Charles Lave, an economics
    professor at the University of California at Irvine who was a primary architect of the finding, said
    much had changed since 1993.

    "It's a description of the past," he said. "You can get a 20 to 40 percent improvement in fuel
    economy without decreasing weight. You don't have to decrease performance either. The technology
    exists to do
    Dw."

    "There's no reason you should get an increase of deaths," he added.

    The administration is likely to submit several ideas for public comment this summer, mostly
    variations on a system that would mandate light truck fuel efficiency in terms of weight or size
    classes instead of a single mileage target, several people who ae close to the deliberations said.

    Environmental groups say such a system will nullify fuel economy gains. The administration, however,
    is considering bringing Hummers and Land Cruisers into the regulatory system and effectively
    creating a heavyweight class like one suggested in the National Academy's report, with a somewhat
    demanding mileage target to stem further auto obesity.

    "My intention is to seek wide public comment on this topic to the point of public meetings," Dr.
    Runge said.

    http://webspawner.com/users/donquijote
     
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  2. Paul

    Paul Guest

    "Don Quijote" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...

    > Larger vehicles, the argument goes, may guzzle more gas but they offer more protection, whether
    > one hits a tree or another car. The argument has been a central one when efforts emerge in
    > Congress to raise fuel economy standards.

    The two ton mom mobiles are safer, eh. Tell that to the dead girl. See the following.
    http://www.jacksonville.com/tu-online/stories/062603/met_12884481.shtml

    BTW, for you speed limit fanatics, I am quite familiar with the area where this happened and the
    posted limit there is 22 MPH (yes, yes, I know it should be in increments of 5MPH, but I know what
    the sign there says.).

    --
    Paul
     
  3. ...

    ... Guest

    Only for mens dicks !!!!
     
  4. "Paul" <[email protected]_sucks.don'temailme.net> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...

    > BTW, for you speed limit fanatics, I am quite familiar with the area
    where
    > this happened and the posted limit there is 22 MPH (yes, yes, I know it should be in increments of
    > 5MPH, but I know what the sign there says.).
    >

    From the article: "Traffic fatalities are virtually unheard of on Jekyll Island, given the slow pace
    of traffic along its streets"

    If the speed limit was higher there would be more accidents and likely more fatalities.
     
  5. In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] says...
    >
    > "Paul" <[email protected]_sucks.don'temailme.net> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]...
    >
    >
    > > BTW, for you speed limit fanatics, I am quite familiar with the area
    > where
    > > this happened and the posted limit there is 22 MPH (yes, yes, I know it should be in increments
    > > of 5MPH, but I know what the sign there says.).
    > >
    >
    > From the article: "Traffic fatalities are virtually unheard of on Jekyll Island, given the slow
    > pace of traffic along its streets"
    >
    > If the speed limit was higher there would be more accidents and likely more fatalities.

    Perhaps, or maybe the streets simply don't allow for higher speeds.

    --
    _________________________
    Chris Phillipo - Cape Breton, Nova Scotia http://www.ramsays-online.com
     
  6. On Mon, 30 Jun 2003 09:49:29 -0700, "one of the six billion" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >
    >"Paul" <[email protected]_sucks.don'temailme.net> wrote in message
    >news:[email protected]...
    >
    >
    >> BTW, for you speed limit fanatics, I am quite familiar with the area
    >where
    >> this happened and the posted limit there is 22 MPH (yes, yes, I know it should be in increments
    >> of 5MPH, but I know what the sign there says.).
    >>
    >
    >From the article: "Traffic fatalities are virtually unheard of on Jekyll Island, given the slow
    >pace of traffic along its streets"
    >
    >If the speed limit was higher there would be more accidents and likely more fatalities.

    Are you familiar with the area? Perhaps the design of the streets simply don't allow for
    higher speeds.
    --
    Brandon Sommerville remove ".gov" to e-mail

    Definition of "Lottery": Millions of stupid people contributing to make one stupid person
    look smart.
     
  7. Dave Simpson

    Dave Simpson Guest

    Paul wrote:

    > The two ton mom mobiles are safer, eh. Tell that to the dead girl. See the following.
    > http://www.jacksonville.com/tu-online/stories/062603/met_12884481.shtml

    This can be written off. Safety for vehicles has always normally been defined in terms of the
    risks to their occupants. There is a higher risk of rollovers in SUVs and pickups, but overall the
    heavier, sturdier SUVs and pickups come out ahead on safety.

    Dave Simpson
     
  8. Dave Simpson

    Dave Simpson Guest

    Paul wrote:

    > The two ton mom mobiles are safer, eh. Tell that to the dead girl. See the following.
    > http://www.jacksonville.com/tu-online/stories/062603/met_12884481.shtml

    Even driving a fully-loaded moving van or a bus won't guarantee you 100% safety, especially if you
    run into trees or bridge abutments, or fail to beat the train at a railroad crossing.

    Dave Simpson
     
  9. Ian St. John

    Ian St. John Guest

    "Dave Simpson" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Paul wrote:
    >
    > > The two ton mom mobiles are safer, eh. Tell that to the dead girl. See the following.
    > > http://www.jacksonville.com/tu-online/stories/062603/met_12884481.shtml
    >
    > Even driving a fully-loaded moving van or a bus won't guarantee you 100% safety, especially if
    > you run into trees or bridge abutments, or fail to beat the train at a railroad crossing.

    It should be noted that despite their greater mass, the increased rollover and vision blockiing
    risks of SUVs etc make them equally dangerous to their drivers as cars. Mostly in one vehicle
    collisions or rollover. The simplicity of their safety systems ( cheap manufacture, counting on mass
    to improve safety rating ) tends to balance out any advantage they might have in other collisions.
     
  10. On Mon, 30 Jun 2003 15:05:03 -0400, "Ian St. John" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >
    >"Dave Simpson" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    >news:[email protected]...
    >> Paul wrote:
    >>
    >> > The two ton mom mobiles are safer, eh. Tell that to the dead girl. See the following.
    >> > http://www.jacksonville.com/tu-online/stories/062603/met_12884481.shtml
    >>
    >> Even driving a fully-loaded moving van or a bus won't guarantee you 100% safety, especially if
    >> you run into trees or bridge abutments, or fail to beat the train at a railroad crossing.
    >
    >It should be noted that despite their greater mass, the increased rollover and vision blockiing
    >risks of SUVs etc make them equally dangerous to their drivers as cars. Mostly in one vehicle
    >collisions or rollover. The simplicity of their safety systems ( cheap manufacture, counting on
    >mass to improve safety rating ) tends to balance out any advantage they might have in other
    >collisions.

    You forgot either a "most SUVs" or "many SUVs" or "some SUVs" qualifier in there somewhere.
     
  11. Ian St. John wrote:
    > It should be noted that despite their greater mass, the increased rollover and vision blockiing
    > risks of SUVs etc make them equally dangerous to their drivers as cars. Mostly in one vehicle
    > collisions or rollover. The simplicity of their safety systems ( cheap manufacture, counting on
    > mass to improve safety rating ) tends to balance out any advantage they might have in other
    > collisions.

    You forgot to include that heavier vehicles are harder to turn and harder to stop and I'm NOT
    talking about the effort required to press the brake pedal or turn the wheel. It's basic newtonian
    physics. This makes them less agile which in turn, increases the risk of getting in an accident in
    the first place.

    The heavier vehicle only helps you if you get in the accident and then only if the thing you collide
    with is significantly movable by the mass*velocity of your vehicle; which excludes things with much
    more mass than you and strong stationary objects like large trees or telephone poles.

    This wouldn't bother me as much if most SUV drivers recognized these limitations and adjusted their
    driving accordingly but they speed heavily and follow too close just like they would in a sports
    car; worse even, because they think they're safer in an SUV.

    I've also noticed a trend of 35-55 year old women in SUV's becoming the most aggressive drivers
    around. They're getting worse than large pickup drivers lately; at least around here. I've noticed
    it both on the bike and in the car.

    --Bill Davidson
     
  12. Pat

    Pat Guest

    x-no-archive:yes

    <snip>
    > This wouldn't bother me as much if most SUV drivers recognized these limitations and adjusted
    > their driving accordingly but they speed heavily and follow too close just like they would in a
    > sports car; worse even, because they think they're safer in an SUV.
    >
    That's exactly right! They think everything will magically get out of their way, too. My Accord is
    much more nimble than these behemoths.

    > I've also noticed a trend of 35-55 year old women in SUV's becoming the most aggressive drivers
    > around. They're getting worse than large pickup drivers lately; at least around here. I've noticed
    > it both on the bike and in the car.
    >
    > --Bill Davidson

    Where are you? In North Texas, we still have more pickup drivers.

    Pat
     
  13. Don Quijote

    Don Quijote Guest

    "Paul" <[email protected]_sucks.don'temailme.net> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > "Don Quijote" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]...
    >
    >
    > > Larger vehicles, the argument goes, may guzzle more gas but they offer more protection, whether
    > > one hits a tree or another car. The argument has been a central one when efforts emerge in
    > > Congress to raise fuel economy standards.
    >
    > The two ton mom mobiles are safer, eh. Tell that to the dead girl. See the following.
    > http://www.jacksonville.com/tu-online/stories/062603/met_12884481.shtml
    >
    > BTW, for you speed limit fanatics, I am quite familiar with the area where this happened and the
    > posted limit there is 22 MPH (yes, yes, I know it should be in increments of 5MPH, but I know what
    > the sign there says.).

    If this pro-government agency studied the following accident, chances are it would reach the
    conclusion that SUVs are safer than bicycles...
    :)

    Boy riding bike to S. Miami High is fatally hit by SUV driven by fellow student

    BY SOFIA SANTANA AND LUISA YANEZ A 16-year-old boy riding his bicycle to South Miami High was struck
    and killed Thursday morning when a fellow student lost control of his Ford Explorer and slammed into
    him, Miami-Dade police said.

    Around 7 a.m., Ricardo Faustino Galvan was riding along Southwest 67th Avenue at 38th Street with
    close friend Horace Lockhart Tejera, 15. Suddenly, the out-of-control Explorer jumped the curb and
    struck them.

    Ricardo, a ninth-grader, died instantly. Tejera suffered injuries to his lower body and was in
    stable condition Thursday at Miami Children's Hospital.

    The driver, Carlos Socarras, 17, was not injured. Police say charges are pending while they try to
    find out why Socarras lost control of the SUV.

    News of the tragedy spread quickly around South Miami High. Students were officially told of the
    accident around noon, but most knew by then. Principal Eugene Butler said grief counselors were
    already in place to console students.

    ''We're a close-knit family here and it hit us hard,'' Butler said. ``The teachers were distraught,
    even those who didn t have them in their class.

    Ricardo's father, Edgardo Bustillo, was about to leave home for his job as a cook at the Miami
    Airport Hilton when there was a knock at his door. Officers solemnly told him that the youngest of
    his six sons had just been killed.

    For Bustillo, there is a lot of pain and guilt. He said through tears that he wonders whether things
    would be different had he not given Ricardo the bike for his last birthday. He is also tormented
    because he might not be able to pay for a proper burial for his son.

    Bustillo says he came to the United States 20 years ago from Honduras in hopes of starting a new
    life. But he has been struggling financially ever since -- paying his bills and sending what was
    left of his paychecks to his family back in Honduras, where five sons still live.

    ''Ricardo was a well-behaved child and a good student,'' Bustillo said. ``He lived an active
    lifestyle and begged me to let him ride his bike to school.

    Bustillo's wife, Sarah, suffered a stroke after learning her son had been killed, family
    friends said.

    ''My son is gone and my wife is so distraught she's in the hospital,'' Bustillo said. ``I don t know
    what I m going to do.

    http://webspawner.com/users/donquijote
     
  14. Don Quijote

    Don Quijote Guest

    Bill Davidson <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...

    > I've also noticed a trend of 35-55 year old women in SUV's becoming the most aggressive drivers
    > around. They're getting worse than large pickup drivers lately; at least around here. I've noticed
    > it both on the bike and in the car.

    That type of driver, in that type of vehicle, amounts to a "License to Kill"...

    http://webspawner.com/users/donquijote
     
  15. Cory Dunkle

    Cory Dunkle Guest

    "Paul" <[email protected]_sucks.don'temailme.net> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    >
    > "Don Quijote" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]...
    >
    >
    > > Larger vehicles, the argument goes, may guzzle more gas but they offer more protection, whether
    > > one hits a tree or another car. The argument has been a central one when efforts emerge in
    > > Congress to raise fuel economy standards.
    >
    > The two ton mom mobiles are safer, eh. Tell that to the dead girl. See the following.
    > http://www.jacksonville.com/tu-online/stories/062603/met_12884481.shtml

    Oh, just a little FYI. The "two ton mom mobiles" of the 60s, 70s and 80s were station wagons, which
    weighed at least two tons, except maybe the compact station wagons like the falcon which probably
    weight a few hundred pounds less. Hell, _cars_ (i.e. not station wagons) used to weight in the
    neighborhood of two tons. So stop bitching about the weight of SUVs, because cars used to be just as
    heavy, and there are quite a few these days that still are two tons or more.
     
  16. Ian St. John

    Ian St. John Guest

    "Cory Dunkle" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    >
    > "Paul" <[email protected]_sucks.don'temailme.net> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]...
    > >
    > > "Don Quijote" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > > news:d823[email protected]...
    > >
    > >
    > > > Larger vehicles, the argument goes, may guzzle more gas but they offer more protection,
    > > > whether one hits a tree or another car. The argument has been a central one when efforts
    > > > emerge in Congress to raise fuel economy standards.
    > >
    > > The two ton mom mobiles are safer, eh. Tell that to the dead girl. See the following.
    > > http://www.jacksonville.com/tu-online/stories/062603/met_12884481.shtml
    >
    > Oh, just a little FYI. The "two ton mom mobiles" of the 60s, 70s and 80s were station wagons,
    > which weighed at least two tons, except maybe the compact station wagons like the falcon which
    > probably weight a few hundred pounds less. Hell, _cars_ (i.e. not station wagons) used to weight
    > in the neighborhood of two tons. So stop bitching about the weight of SUVs,
    because
    > cars used to be just as heavy, and there are quite a few these days that still are two tons
    > or more.

    We'll keep bitching till the two ton mom mobiles ( of whatever design ) are dead and the roads are
    safe. Remember that SUVs kill more in two car collisions and yet are not safer for their drivers or
    passengers because of roll instability and vision blockage. This has nothing to do with history or
    what went before. It has to do with creating an unnecessary threat to life, as well as a wasteful
    gas guzzler. It is just ANOTHER bad design.
     
  17. Dave Simpson

    Dave Simpson Guest

    Cory Dunkle wrote:

    > Oh, just a little FYI. The "two ton mom mobiles" of the 60s, 70s and 80s were station wagons,
    > which weighed at least two tons, except maybe the compact station wagons like the falcon which
    > probably weight a few hundred pounds less. Hell, _cars_ (i.e. not station wagons) used to weight
    > in the neighborhood of two tons. So stop bitching about the weight of SUVs, because cars used to
    > be just as heavy, and there are quite a few these days that still are two tons or more.

    The demise of those vehicles, blamed by many on federal government fuel efficiency requirements
    for cars, is also claimed by many to be responsible for the rise of the SUV.

    I'd attribute the trend as it has developed also to gluttony (not greed) during the 1990s,
    reflective partially of the bubble mentality and image consciousness. Otherwise, SUVs just are a
    fad or trend and eventually it will change. The trend has lasted as long as it has because many
    people do enjoy larger vehicles, and there's nothing wrong with it, nor is it illegal in this free
    country -- not yet, at least. The vehicles are practical, which is why I bet many prefer them.
    Others, it's for size, or image, or whatever.

    Dave Simpson

    evil owner-operator who replaced his beloved RX-7 at 400,000 miles with a ... small pickup truck
    with a four-cylinder put-putter engine -- but is drooling at the Renesis
     
  18. Dave Simpson

    Dave Simpson Guest

    Ian St. John wrote:

    > We'll keep bitching till the two ton mom mobiles ( of whatever design ) are dead and the roads
    > are safe.

    I'll ignore your more silly statements and just address this. By coercing people into smaller
    vehicles, you are not only anti-American, and you are also raising their risk of injury and death,
    making the roads less rather than more safe. Also, no matter what people drive there will still be
    bad drivers, who will continue to make the roads around them unsafe, which is one of the many
    reasons why the anti-SUV hysteria and demonization is so utterly stupid.

    Dave Simpson
     
  19. Dave Simpson

    Dave Simpson Guest

    Ian St. John wrote:

    > It should be noted that despite their greater mass, the increased rollover and vision blockiing
    > risks of SUVs etc make them equally dangerous to their drivers as cars. Mostly in one vehicle
    > collisions or rollover. The simplicity of their safety systems ( cheap manufacture, counting on
    > mass to improve safety rating ) tends to balance out any advantage they might have in other
    > collisions.

    There is no balancing out or overall negative outcome. Larger vehicles remain safer than smaller
    vehicles. The smallest automobiles are the least safe. Safety is defined as relative risk to the
    vehicles' own occupants.

    There is a secondary issue, which is over-hyped and part of the fuel of utter stupidity of
    anti-SUV demonization and hysteria that is not respectable, which is the relative risk of damage,
    injury, or death that a vehicle can cause to other vehicles in collisions. As would be logically
    inferred, the larger vehicles, while safer to their own occupants, cause more damange and harm to
    others and their occupants. It isn't just weight, but also the increased stiffness of truck-based
    vehicles (they are designed and must always be designed to carry respectably large payloads, which
    is where the activists are fundamentally wrong when they want to convert trucks into cars as well
    as to shrink them), and their ride heights are above those of automobiles, so they are much more
    likely to strike the cab (yeech). There's a limit even to how low the ride or bumper heights can
    be moved (which is also true for truck headlights and the nighttime glare problem), as well as
    compromise on other issues such as frame stiffness and vehicle weight.

    The wiser critics will just to have to be patient and look for the trend to change, or just smirk
    if fuel prices go up in future years (not from any dumb tax or fee-bate scheme or other social
    engineering measure, which commands and deserves no respect in the USA) and the drop in resale
    value prices of truck-based vehicles matches the rise in operating expenses roughly with vehicle
    weight and engine displacement.

    Dave Simpson
     
  20. Dave Simpson

    Dave Simpson Guest

    Bill Davidson wrote:

    > The heavier vehicle only helps you if you get in the accident and then only if the thing you
    > collide with is significantly movable by the mass*velocity of your vehicle; which excludes things
    > with much more mass than you and strong stationary objects like large trees or telephone poles.

    Safety is defined in terms of the relative risk to the occupants of vehicles. You are right that
    no vehicle is 100% safe; I already mentioned cases similar to yours above, and of course, you have
    fools who still don't use seat belts in 2003. (It's too commonplace to merit a Darwin award,
    though the idiocy is there nevertheless.)

    Pickups, SUVs, and cargo vans are heavier and in addition, they are more sturdy (you can review
    safety studies which refer to their stiffer frames and such if you are interested), and they
    overall are safer to their occupants, in all kinds of accidents. It's just that some things that
    are struck -- or that strike the vehicle -- will come out on top if there is a suitable
    overmatch(!).

    Where there is a greater, not smaller, relative risk with the vehicles I have listed (the Evil
    Politically Incorrect Triumvirate -- SUVs, pickup trucks, and cargo vans, the "truck" vans, not
    the car-based Soccer Mom vans) is that their higher centers of gravity present a higher risk of
    rollover. (This can become tragic when the occupants foolishly don't use seat belts and they are
    ejected. Typically if you learn of fatalities they are ejection casualties.)

    In typical safety studies, the smallest cars are, as expected, at the very bottom and far riskier
    than the bigger vehicles. As far as the secondary element of risk to other vehicles (the issue
    which the leftists currently are flogging to death, and being silly when not irritating or
    outrageous) is worst with cargo vans, not pickups or SUVs.

    > This wouldn't bother me as much if most SUV drivers recognized these limitations and adjusted
    > their driving accordingly but they speed heavily and follow too close just like they would in a
    > sports car; worse even, because they think they're safer in an SUV.

    There is a perverse "risk tolerance" theory in existence that says that as some risks are reduced,
    people compensate (perversely, because it is pathological) by increasing other risks; the theory
    is that there is an overall risk level at which people limit their comfort and they are willing to
    raise their risks to reach this level, though they (normal adults) don't go beyond that point.

    Dave Simpson
     
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