SUV = Son Under Vehicle?

Last year, at least one American child per week was killed in his own driveway, backed over by a parent or close relative. Most of the 55 dead children were under age four, and 60% of the vehicles involved were SUVs or light trucks, notorious for their poor visibility. In his new book High and Mighty: SUVs: The World's Most Dangerous Vehicles and How They Got That Way, Keith Bradsher takes on the SUV on environmental and safety grounds. Most startling is how lenient safety and environmental restrictions are for SUVs (which are regulated as "light trucks"), a testament to the auto industry’s capable, heavily funded lobbying efforts. Some facts:
  • For every one life saved by driving an SUV, five others will be taken.
  • On average, SUVs are three times as likely to kill drivers of cars they collide with, but the Chevy Tahoe is five times as likely.
  • The four-ton Tahoe kills 122 people for every million models on the road; in comparsion, the Honda Accord only kills 21.
  • By law, SUVs are allowed to emit up to 5.5 times as much smog-producing gases per mile than cars; for example, they’re allowed to emit 1.1 gram of nitrogen oxide compared to an allowable 0.2 gram per mile for cars.

    Read about Bradsher’s book at Alternet, or listen to yesterday’s interviewwith him on Democracy Now.

    If you drive an SUV, please don't run over your loved ones. If you’re in the market to buy one, think twice.

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