Stop! Don’t ditch your SUV just yet

Discussion in 'rec.bicycles.soc archive' started by Ken -Lsqny), Mar 1, 2003.

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  1. Ken -Lsqny)

    Ken -Lsqny) Guest

    February 4, 2003, 10:00 a.m. Stop! Don’t ditch your SUV just yet.

    By Jerry Taylor

    Another salvo in the war over sport-utility vehicles was fired recently when Jeffrey Runge, a doctor
    who happens to head the Bush administration's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration,
    declared that SUVs pose an "astounding" threat to their owners because of their proclivity to roll
    over and that strict new regulations may be in the offing.

    "The thing that I don't understand is people, when they choose to buy a vehicle, they might go sit
    in it and say, 'Gee, I feel safe,' " said Runge. "Well, sorry, but you know gut instinct is great
    for a lot of stuff, but it's not very good for buying a safe automobile."

    Doctors may be great at a lot of stuff, but they're not necessarily very good at assessing
    non-medical data. The public, in fact, is right and Dr. Runge is wrong.

    It is true that SUVs are more dangerous to be in than most passenger vehicles if they roll over. But
    only three percent of all accidents involve rollovers. If you're driving an SUV and get into an
    accident, most of the time it will involve hitting (or getting hit by) something. Accordingly,
    drivers are right not to worry too much about rolling over, particularly because it can be avoided
    simply by avoiding NASCAR racing practices when making sharp turns.

    The fact that increased safety of SUVs in two-car collisions more than offsets the risk of rollovers
    was validated last October in a study published by the National Bureau of Economic Research and
    written by University of Michigan economist Michelle White. White got data regarding every
    automotive accident reported to the police between 1995-99.

    She studied the records of cars, SUVS, pickups and minivans, large trucks and buses in three types
    of crashes: those involving two vehicles, a single vehicle and a vehicle striking a pedestrian or
    bicyclist. She then analyzed the information, controlling for seat belt use, urban and rural
    conditions, weather, time of day, negligence, age of the drivers, road type, speed, and number of
    vehicular occupants.

    The result: SUVs saved between 1,023 and 1,225 lives every year. And the study found no
    statistically significant evidence that you are more likely to die if your car collided with an SUV
    than if it collided with another car. Interestingly enough, White found that light trucks were
    responsible for an unnecessary 2,260 deaths every year. Apparently, it's the pickups and minivans -
    not the SUVs - that are the problem.

    What makes this study remarkable is that it's the first time that actual case-by-case crash data
    were used to examine SUV safety. Earlier studies used aggregated data that prevented analysts from
    controlling for all the relevant factors that might contaminate the findings. Any statistician will
    tell you that the case-by-case data are much preferred for this very reason. And White is the first
    analyst to put the relevant data through the paces.

    A skeptic might counter that the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences
    concluded last July that SUVs were responsible for an unnecessary 2,000 deaths a year. Doesn't the
    consensus of those experts trump the findings of the economist?

    The problem is that the NRC study was based on a review of the published literature and did not
    include the White study, which was published three months later. The NRC simply assessed the
    findings of various studies that used the less persuasive data approach.

    In addition, the White study was not financed by the auto industry. It was the Institute of Civil
    Justice at the RAND Corp. that supported White's study.

    The anti-SUV jihad may continue to roll on, but it cannot credibly do so with an anti-safety
    argument in tow. Dr. Runge should check the facts before he jumps on this rickety bandwagon.

    -- Jerry Taylor is director of natural-resource studies at the Cato Institute.

    Ken (NY) Chairman, Department Of Redundancy Department
    ____________________________________

    A reminder: Why we are fighting: http://www.geocities.com/bluesguy68/AmericaAttacked.htm

    email: http://www.geocities.com/bluesguy68/email.htm

    There are three kinds of men. The ones that learn by reading. The few who learn by observation. The
    rest of them have to pee on the electric fence. -Will Rogers
     
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  2. Brent P

    Brent P Guest

    > The fact that increased safety of SUVs in two-car collisions more than offsets the risk of
    > rollovers was validated last October in a study published by the National Bureau of Economic
    > Research and written by University of Michigan economist Michelle White. White got data regarding
    > every automotive accident reported to the police between 1995-99.

    The larger passenger cars that CAFE discourages also have safety advantages of the same or greater
    magitiude without the roll over risks and other disadvantages of light trucks
     
  3. Oh yeah, I always trust RAND paid studies reported by the Cato institute - totally unbiased.

    One thing the report doesn't say is exactly what is an SUV. Some (particularly the smaller ones) are
    car unibody (crushing) design and lower. Others (all the big ones) are jacked up truck ladder frame
    designs that spear occupants of lower unibody vehicles.

    This study allows the real moneymakers (and carnage makers) to blend in with the station wagons
    masquerading as Jeeps.

    If it looks like a jacked up truck, it will act like one, guzzling, flipping, and spearing.

    "Ken [NY)" <[email protected]_text> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > February 4, 2003, 10:00 a.m. Stop! Don't ditch your SUV just yet.
    >
    > By Jerry Taylor
    >
    > Another salvo in the war over sport-utility vehicles was fired recently when Jeffrey Runge, a
    > doctor who happens to head the Bush administration's National Highway Traffic Safety
    > Administration, declared that SUVs pose an "astounding" threat to their owners because of their
    > proclivity to roll over and that strict new regulations may be in the offing.
    >
    > "The thing that I don't understand is people, when they choose to buy a vehicle, they might go sit
    > in it and say, 'Gee, I feel safe,' " said Runge. "Well, sorry, but you know gut instinct is great
    > for a lot of stuff, but it's not very good for buying a safe automobile."
    >
    > Doctors may be great at a lot of stuff, but they're not necessarily very good at assessing
    > non-medical data. The public, in fact, is right and Dr. Runge is wrong.
    >
    > It is true that SUVs are more dangerous to be in than most passenger vehicles if they roll over.
    > But only three percent of all accidents involve rollovers. If you're driving an SUV and get into
    > an accident, most of the time it will involve hitting (or getting hit by) something. Accordingly,
    > drivers are right not to worry too much about rolling over, particularly because it can be avoided
    > simply by avoiding NASCAR racing practices when making sharp turns.
    >
    > The fact that increased safety of SUVs in two-car collisions more than offsets the risk of
    > rollovers was validated last October in a study published by the National Bureau of Economic
    > Research and written by University of Michigan economist Michelle White. White got data regarding
    > every automotive accident reported to the police between 1995-99.
    >
    > She studied the records of cars, SUVS, pickups and minivans, large trucks and buses in three types
    > of crashes: those involving two vehicles, a single vehicle and a vehicle striking a pedestrian or
    > bicyclist. She then analyzed the information, controlling for seat belt use, urban and rural
    > conditions, weather, time of day, negligence, age of the drivers, road type, speed, and number of
    > vehicular occupants.
    >
    > The result: SUVs saved between 1,023 and 1,225 lives every year. And the study found no
    > statistically significant evidence that you are more likely to die if your car collided with an
    > SUV than if it collided with another car. Interestingly enough, White found that light trucks were
    > responsible for an unnecessary 2,260 deaths every year. Apparently, it's the pickups and minivans
    > - not the SUVs - that are the problem.
    >
    > What makes this study remarkable is that it's the first time that actual case-by-case crash data
    > were used to examine SUV safety. Earlier studies used aggregated data that prevented analysts from
    > controlling for all the relevant factors that might contaminate the findings. Any statistician
    > will tell you that the case-by-case data are much preferred for this very reason. And White is the
    > first analyst to put the relevant data through the paces.
    >
    > A skeptic might counter that the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences
    > concluded last July that SUVs were responsible for an unnecessary 2,000 deaths a year. Doesn't the
    > consensus of those experts trump the findings of the economist?
    >
    > The problem is that the NRC study was based on a review of the published literature and did not
    > include the White study, which was published three months later. The NRC simply assessed the
    > findings of various studies that used the less persuasive data approach.
    >
    > In addition, the White study was not financed by the auto industry. It was the Institute of Civil
    > Justice at the RAND Corp. that supported White's study.
    >
    > The anti-SUV jihad may continue to roll on, but it cannot credibly do so with an anti-safety
    > argument in tow. Dr. Runge should check the facts before he jumps on this rickety bandwagon.
    >
    > -- Jerry Taylor is director of natural-resource studies at the Cato Institute.
    >
    >
    >
    >
    > Ken (NY) Chairman, Department Of Redundancy Department
    > ____________________________________
    >
    > A reminder: Why we are fighting: http://www.geocities.com/bluesguy68/AmericaAttacked.htm
    >
    > email: http://www.geocities.com/bluesguy68/email.htm
    >
    > There are three kinds of men. The ones that learn by reading. The few who learn by observation.
    > The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence. -Will Rogers
     
  4. On Tue, 04 Feb 2003 11:21:49 -0500, Ken [NY) <[email protected]_text> wrote:
    >February 4, 2003, 10:00 a.m. Stop! Don’t ditch your SUV just yet.
    >
    >By Jerry Taylor The result: SUVs saved between 1,023 and 1,225 lives every year. And the study
    >found no statistically significant evidence that you are more likely to die if your car collided
    >with an SUV than if it collided with another car.

    The statement above is worded such that it might exclude collisions where the SUV hits you. Since I
    don't drive around in SUVs, I more concerned about being hit by one. Does the study address what
    happens to the drivers of the non-SUV vehicle? Is the wording of the statement intentional - does
    the study just look at the safety of the SUV driver?

    Frank
     
  5. Tom Keats

    Tom Keats Guest

    In article <[email protected]>,
    "Ken [NY)" <[email protected]_text> writes:
    > February 4, 2003, 10:00 a.m. Stop! Don’t ditch your SUV just yet.
    >
    > By Jerry Taylor
    >
    ...

    > She studied the records of cars, SUVS, pickups and minivans, large trucks and buses in three types
    > of crashes: those involving two vehicles, a single vehicle and a vehicle striking a pedestrian or
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
    > bicyclist. She then analyzed the information, controlling for seat
    ^^^^^^^^^
    > belt use, urban and rural conditions, weather, time of day, negligence, age of the drivers, road
    > type, speed, and number of vehicular occupants.
    >
    > The result: SUVs saved between 1,023 and 1,225 lives every year.

    I wonder how many of these "saved lives" were pedestrians or bicyclists hit by SUVs. Or, were the
    "saved lives" those of the occupants of pedestrian or bicyclist-hitting SUVs?

    cheers, Tom

    --
    -- Powered by FreeBSD

    remove NO_SPAM. from address to reply
     
  6. This is one of those lying with statistics issues. Obviously, all cars are safer than they were
    several years ago. My '91 Civic, which lacks airbags, is better designed and safer than cars that
    preceded it, even some with early air bag systems. It lacks an ABS or other refinements of cars
    which became pretty standard on cars as early as 94-95 model years. There is no doubt, however, that
    it would not stand up well to any collision with an SUV. More mass means greater momentum and thus,
    greater damage to other vehicles, vehicular occupants, cyclists, pedestrians, and property. Just
    what does Jerry's report indicate? An overall improvement in vehicular safety and improvements in
    saving lives once accidents occur? Probably. That SUV's save lives, probably not. The extra energy
    from the collisions must go somewhere and even with my modest background in physics, the report, as
    described here (and no, I haven't read it myself), just doesn't seem supportable.

    Rick

    "Tom Keats" <[email protected]_SPAM.vcn.bc.ca> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > In article <[email protected]>, "Ken [NY)" <[email protected]_text> writes:
    > > February 4, 2003, 10:00 a.m. Stop! Don't ditch your SUV just yet.
    > >
    > > By Jerry Taylor
    > >
    > ...
    >
    > > She studied the records of cars, SUVS, pickups and minivans, large trucks and buses in three
    > > types of crashes: those involving two vehicles, a single vehicle and a vehicle striking a
    > > pedestrian or
    > ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
    > > bicyclist. She then analyzed the information, controlling for seat
    > ^^^^^^^^^
    > > belt use, urban and rural conditions, weather, time of day, negligence, age of the drivers, road
    > > type, speed, and number of vehicular occupants.
    > >
    > > The result: SUVs saved between 1,023 and 1,225 lives every year.
    >
    > I wonder how many of these "saved lives" were pedestrians or bicyclists hit by SUVs. Or, were the
    > "saved lives" those of the occupants of pedestrian or bicyclist-hitting SUVs?
    >
    >
    > cheers, Tom
    >
    > --
    > -- Powered by FreeBSD
    >
    > remove NO_SPAM. from address to reply
     
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