The SUV: To Be or Not to Be?

Essay by HSmith6588University, Bachelor'sA+, October 2004

download word file, 3 pages 3.0

Higher percentage of rollovers than any other vehicle; pollute far more than other cars; and use far too much gas; these are the most commonly said statements regarding the ever so popular Sport Utility Vehicle. Each statement arises from different groups of people, some who oppose the supposed dangers of the vehicles, and others who are against anything that desecrates our natural surroundings and others who feel SUV's are the major reason behind the United States relying on foreign countries as an only source for oil.

In the case of John Braggs, author of The American Dream: Why Environmentalists Attack the SUV, he argues for rather than against these acclaimed "death machines." The main points that he discusses include the "vehicles advantage in safety, cargo space and the fact that they have the power that Americans demand" (465). The numerous benefits and advantages that come with owning one of these vehicles easily outweigh the drawbacks.

The most common misconception regarding SUV's is that they have the highest incidence of rollovers, more so than any other passenger vehicle. According to a study by the National Bureau of Economic Research which recorded data for every accident reported to police during a four year period, only three percent of all accidents were rollovers. On top of that, the study also states that of the three percent, most of the police reports stated that drivers were practicing unsafe driving habits. In addition, reported rollovers typically involved dangerous driving habits. Lower seat belt use, speeding, and alcohol use were common factors in more than 90 percent of the three percent of all rollover deaths. Basically if drivers of these vehicles follow the traffic laws then problems with rollovers should not occur.

Furthermore, SUV's offer many advantages in safety when compared with other vehicles. Many...