SUVs : Are They Economical Or Not

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorUniversity, Bachelor's August 2001

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A Never Ending Debate The question that many people are debating over is whether SUVs are safe and whether they should be regulated like cars with regards to their fuel efficiency. The reason why this subject interests me is because just over a month ago I was in a car accident with a SUV. I was driving a Toyota Corolla, a compact car, and was hit by a Jeep Grand Cherokee. The SUV caused massive damage to my car, yet it was barely damaged. Taking my situation, for example, makes me wonder if SUV's are safe. SUVs have become a major issue due to their continuing growth in sales across the United States.

One of the main problems with SUVs is that they are known to be as "gas guzzlers." They consume much more gasoline compared to regular passenger cars and pollute the air that people breathe. They also emit much more pollution into the atmosphere due to the low Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) brought upon by the Department of Transportation.

"The standards, adopted by Congress in 1975 after the Arab oil embargo, require passenger cars to get an average 27.5 miles per gallon and light trucks, like SUVs, to get 20.7 mpg." (Ramstack, Tom) The reason why the CAFE was set that way was because at the time, mostly farmers and small businesses used light trucks. The causes of keeping low fuel emission standards on SUVs have resulted in massive pollution. Now, SUVs and other light trucks account for half of United States vehicle sales, therefore, causing more pollution than ever before.

The people who are pro SUVs, such as many consumers and car manufacturers argue that making SUVs more fuel-efficient will make them too light. The cause of keeping them too light they will result in Sport...