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SUV Debate

This topic contains 60 replies, has 19 voices, and was last updated by  JustRay 11 mos, 3 weeks.

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Drewbacca

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Apr 26 2013 at 3:54pm #

car = the thing I hang my bike rack from? :)


ericf

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Apr 26 2013 at 4:00pm #

@dooftram,
Here is another:

http://www.distraction.gov/content/get-the-facts/facts-and-statistics.html


cburch

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Apr 26 2013 at 4:13pm #

edmonds59 wrote:Cool.
Just an aside; I don’t like guys in suits. My initial reaction is “dick”. I effing hate suits. Ties too. And I’m not even kidding about that. I despise them and resent ever having to wear one. That’s just my bias, and no one will ever change that.
Except for Mick. Mick is awesome in a suit.

i swear you’re really a me from an alternate future back here to screw with the timelines in some sort of weird Robert Heinleinish way.


dooftram

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Apr 26 2013 at 4:15pm #

ericf wrote:@dooftram,
Both articles were interesting, and is is scary how we are influenced by marketing. Same thing happens with bicycles, look at all of the $5k plus carbon wonder bikes that never go on anything more than charity rides.
However, neither of the articles show any statistics about accidents *caused* by SUV’s. There may be some implied causality, but the articles offer no evidence that SUV’s cause accidents at a rate higher than any other vehicle.
My question for you is:
Why don’t people hate cell phones and ,for that matter, everybody who uses one at least as much as they claim to hate SUV’s and people who drive them?
The article I linked to earlier from the NSC estimates 1.6 million crashes are caused annually by texting.

Well, I think you know the answer to your own question. Smart/cell phones are even more prevalent than SUVs. People have a harder time hating things they love/use themselves. We tend to take our patterns of consumption very personally/emotionally. That’s what the marketers are so ingenious at manipulating in us, our fears/anxieties/insecurities.


cburch

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Apr 26 2013 at 4:55pm #

also, suv owner here. here’s a slightly different perspective form someone who wants the smallest cheapest and most reliable version of the tool (vehicle) that will do the job correctly.

i grew up on a farm, i’ve been driving 18 speed tractors with split clutches and breaks since i was 6 and driving pick up trucks since i was 12. my first car was a 15 year old f150 (that we dropped the v8 from a 20 year old f250 into). when i was on the farm i NEEDED a pickup truck. once i moved to pittsburgh i kept it until the engine seized and we scrapped it because i think its more wasteful to replace something that works with something new than to keep the stupid old thing. once it died though i moved on to a ford festiva since i just needed it for going back home to ny and the occasional big item hauling trip. and when that car died i didnt get another one until after i moved back to ny and couldnt hang with commuting to 2 jobs in the city while living at my parents house out in the country. at that point i went through a bunch of $300 shitbox cars on their last legs until my folks got a minivan four hauling my wheelchair bound grandmother around and i inherited their little ford contour. i kept that car until i moved back to pittsburgh and didnt need a car again. when i started getting more and more into mountain biking and trail building i started stealing stef’s car all the time to get out to ride and work days with bikes, tools and gear in tow, and drive to the downhill parks (mostly 4-6 hours away) when i got REALLY into trail work and got stef into riding in the woods and camping (and we thought we were going to have a kid) we decided that we needed something other than her honda fit and the old nissan sentra i inherited from her. here was the breakdown of requirements:

-under $5k cash to buy
-reliable or easily repairable by me
-at least 9 inches of ground clearance and 4wd or awd for unmaintained jeep roads in the mountains where i build/ride
-enough room for 2 big dogs, a kid, both of us, bikes and camping gear
-long enough for me to sleep in (resorts are EXPENSIVE!)
-able to load up with half a ton of landscaping material and tools and bikes

so i went and found the absolutely smallest vehicle that would fit all of these things and i got my much beloved brown blazer (RIP little buddy!)

when my blazer got smashed by a girl who claimed to have fallen asleep at the wheel (but I’m pretty sure she was just texting and speeding like any other moron) we decided to get something a little newer and nicer to replace it and that since we weren’t having a kid anymore it could be a little smaller, as long as i could still load it down with 5 downhill bikes and gear and people and dogs and tools and it still had enough clearance and 4wd/awd for those access roads so now i have a subaru forester and im not sure if im a station wagon owner or suv owner.

so you see, SOME people actually use the things and dont overcompensate when purchasing. but good lord do i want to smash all the idiots that use them to cart kids around and shop in the suburbs and slam on their brakes to go over tiny potholes…


rice rocket

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Apr 26 2013 at 5:58pm #

dooftram wrote:
What you ask for is ironic considering your rather cheap and unsubstantiated ad hominem/hearsay dismissal. Did you actually read the articles?

Yeah, I browsed them.

Gladwell cites the Firestone problems w/ the Ford Explorer as evidence that SUVs are unsafe.

REALLY?

The whole Firestone incident was due to inattentive owners driving on on underinflated tires. Do that on ANY car, and the results are the same.

As I said, hack.


ericf

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Apr 26 2013 at 7:45pm #

dooftram wrote:Well, I think you know the answer to your own question. Smart/cell phones are even more prevalent than SUVs. People have a harder time hating things they love/use themselves. We tend to take our patterns of consumption very personally/emotionally. That’s what the marketers are so ingenious at manipulating in us, our fears/anxieties/insecurities.

I know the answer. I was wondering if you did. Well said.


salty

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Apr 26 2013 at 8:32pm #

Ok, how about this: “Someone struck by a large sports utility vehicle is more than twice as likely to die as someone hit by a saloon car travelling at the same speed.”

http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn4462-suvs-double-pedestrians-risk-of-death.html

http://www.sbes.vt.edu/gabler/publications/esvped_paper212.pdf


salty

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Apr 26 2013 at 8:41pm #

I don’t know whether SUVs are better or worse for visibility – there are plenty of little sports cars that have pretty shitty visibility. So, I think the speculation about whether you’re more or less likely to cause a crash while driving one is pure speculation and definitely distracted driving, speeding, etc are much larger factors in any case. But, if they’re more likely to kill someone when a crash happens, that’s a pretty significant downside. Cars have been subject to pedestrian safety standards for a long time now, but SUVs and trucks are exempt.

One factor that may have been important in the case of the boy that was hit in Point Breeze is the bumper height. Would he have been pinned under the vehicle if it were a car instead?

FWIW, reading edmonds’ story, I think anyone who buys a gigantic SUV for “safety” should be required to mount a spike on the steering wheel. That is one thing that does piss me off – making yourself safer at the expense of smaller vehicles is pretty reprehensible.


gg

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Apr 26 2013 at 8:56pm #

salty wrote:
FWIW, reading edmonds’ story, I think anyone who buys a gigantic SUV for “safety” should be required to mount a spike on the steering wheel. That is one thing that does piss me off – making yourself safer at the expense of smaller vehicles is pretty reprehensible.

This is a bigger point than just why so many people buy them. They are selfish by nature for the most part and that is why we as cyclists have so many issues with SUVs. They buy them to be safe and with no regard for anyone else. Interestingly, I don’t think they are safer at all. I feel they are more dangerous because they can’t avoid anything and they flip over so harsh due to how high they sit. It is sort of a joke.


ericf

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Apr 26 2013 at 8:57pm #

@salty,
Good point about the bumper height, I hadn’t thought about that in relation to Iain’s situation. At the same time, I would rather keep references to that tragedy out of this thread.


ericf

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Apr 26 2013 at 9:01pm #

@gg
If this is how you are going to post, then what you think is not interesting to me at all.
You are being a hypocritical windbag, and you know it. Knock it off.


Mikhail

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Apr 26 2013 at 9:08pm #

salty wrote:“Someone struck by a large sports utility vehicle is more than twice as likely to die as someone hit by a saloon car travelling at the same speed.”

This statement is true for a pretty narrow speed range. I would say below 3 mph there almost no differentce as well as above 50 mph. If you look at PDF:
Figure 7 shows “Frequency of Severe Head Injury AIS 3 or Greater by Vehicle Type as a Function of Impact Speed” and we see that at speed 60 km/h cars are above LT and 60 km/h is about 38 mph. For the chest injure (Figure 8) cars are ahead at speed about 55 km/h. Figure 9 shows that impact on low extremetes at low speed is bigger from cars.

Fig 10 “robability of Severe Head Injury AIS 3 or Greater” has three clusters of speed. And in range 0-20 km/h (0-12.5 mph) cars are much better. At 20-40 k,/h (12.5-25 mph) they are equal. And 40-60 km/h (25-38 mph) cars are a little bit better.


gg

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Apr 26 2013 at 9:08pm #

ericf wrote:@gg
If this is how you are going to post, then what you think is not interesting to me at all.
You are being a hypocritical windbag, and you know it. Knock it off.

You have to understand. This entire thread is a total “generalization”. I think you may be taking this personally. That isn’t my fault, but yours. You need to knock it off, not I. MOST people buy them because they want to bully others around and be on top over others incase of a head on collision,which are very rare. You bought your SUV because it was a great deal and hardly any money down, nor real payment schedule. Lets not get carried away. This thread isn’t about YOU, it is a generalization about SUV owners. You just happened to be an SUV driver, but the generalization doesn’t really apply to you personally. I just know it applies to MOST.


ericf

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Apr 26 2013 at 9:19pm #

@gg
Your profiling and pigeonholing are tired. Your comments are hypocritical and arrogant. Give it up.
Like I said, I don’t care what you think.


ajbooth

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Apr 26 2013 at 10:24pm #

@gg, please speak for yourself, and not “we cyclists”–especially not this one.

How is what you are saying different than the people who scream “all cyclists disobey the law and run red lights” whenever something happens? It is profiling, especially when you assign personal attributes (“they are selfish by nature for the most part”) to a group of individuals.

The problem is drivers who are inattentive or careless. Doesn’t matter what they drive.


gg

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Apr 27 2013 at 2:51pm #

ericf wrote:@gg
Your profiling and pigeonholing are tired. Your comments are hypocritical and arrogant. Give it up.
Like I said, I don’t care what you think.

If you don’t care, why are you responding? Like I said, the whole thing is a generalization. How can anyone look at it in any other way? MOST people buy them to bully and feel safe, which is a misnomer. They certainly aren’t safe.


gg

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Apr 27 2013 at 3:19pm #

It is interesting people say, “YOU ARE PROFILING!!!!!!!”. Really? No kidding. Everyone profiles. Please don’t make me write examples.

Anyway this topic is silly and a waste of time. It is just a bunch of generalizations and people getting worked up over nothing. Whatever. I am more interested in safety and cycling than all the side nonsense and personality crap. Many people know each other on here, so people get all excited if some known person disagrees or whatever. SUV’s ARE more dangerous unless you drive them slower than a modern good car. Plain and simple.


ajbooth

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Apr 28 2013 at 10:41am #

@gg: This is a board for sharing opinions. You’ve shared yours, and to you it is fact. Speaking only for myself, I disagree. The beauty of opinions, and board like this, is that we are allowed to do so.


ericf

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Apr 29 2013 at 4:23am #

My apologies, @gg. I am usually much more tolerant.
As you can see, there are a number of people here who drive SUV’s.
I do not think they are the menace that you describe:

gg wrote:Lets face it, they are a very poor choice 9 times out of 10 when considering a vehicle and are usually purchased due to a false sense of safety AND to bully others.

With the constraints of text and not being able to hear your tone of voice, it feels like a not so subtle attack on people who are posting about their personal experience.


JustRay

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Apr 29 2013 at 11:30am #

ericf wrote:@salty,
Good point about the bumper height.

Bumper height is a huge thing — especially among a group of mostly urban-dwelling folks. Tall bumpers on the truly large SUVs and pick ups will clear the hood lines of cars sensibly sized for the area. When the hood is chest high, it is not a friendly vehicle for a congested setting — whether we’re talking drivers, pedestrians or cyclists.

They exist for the perception of safety, and originally to get around air quality standards for cars.

And as the biggest FU to practicality ever, GM stopped making the immensely practical Roadmaster and Caprice wagons to build more Chevy Suburbans (which have less cargo capacity and no greater towing capacity).

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