A group of researchers from Trinity have had a wonderful brainfart. “Lets put safety notices on SUVs, so that the dolts who buy them will know how dangerous they are to pedestrians!” they say. Fantastic. Brilliant. And the effect it will have on buyers of said vehicles? Zero. Zilch. Nada.
I’d wager that a lot of people who buy SUVs buy them because they’re dangerous to pedestrians, and other cars, and walls. Because they want to be safe inside the car, and they want their family to be safe inside the car. If they think about safety, they’ll be thinking about the safety of those close to them, not the safety of those outside the car. Which is understandable, if not an especially nice thought.
If you look at an SUV, you know fine rightly that it’s more dangerous to any pedestrians it hits than a saloon of the same value. It’s higher and heavier, which means that it hits you harder and in more vunerable areas. It offsets this a bit by offering better visibility on both sides: the driver is higher, and so can see a bit better, adn the pedestrian can see it better (over parked cars, for example).
The report authors call for a number of measures to reduce the risks associated with SUVs, including changing crash investigations so the type of cars involved in accidents with pedestrians is identified.
They also call for warning notices on SUVs to help inform consumers of the increased risks of severe injuries and death associated with the vehicles.
Now, forgive me if I’m being dense here, but how is it going to improve safety if the type of car is noted in investigations? Will it ease the minds of the family of the deceased? “You know, Bob would have had a good chance of surviving if he’d been hit by an Astra, but he was hit by a Land Cruiser, so he was dead from the moment it came into view” “Thank you doctor, I’m now away to get vengence on all SUV owners”.
Will penalties be weighted to take into account of the type of car being driven, the same way that they are with drink and speed?
- What happened: Pedestrian steps out in front of Ford Focus and dies. Driver was travelling at 30. Accident was pedestrian’s fault. Verdict: accident, with emphasis on pedestrian.
- What happened: Pedestrian steps out in front of Ford Focus and dies. Driver was travelling at 31. Accident was pedestrian’s fault. Verdict: Accident, with emphasis on driver. Banned from driving for one year and fined very heavily
- What happened: Pedestrian steps out in front of Ford Focus and dies. Driver had had two pints some hours previously. Accident was pedestrians fault. Verdict: Manslaughter. Driver goes to jail for a year, banned from driving for 5.
- What happened: Pedestrian steps out in front of Range Rover and dies. Driver is travelling at 30, sober. Accident was pedestrians fault. Verdict: MURDER, as the driver was driving an EEEVVVVIIILLL SUV. Penalty: life imprisonment.
Give it time. If the law doesn’t go that way, some paper will start a campaign to try and get it that way. My money’s on the Mail.
Full Disclosure: I dinnae like SUVs. Stupid, inefficient, and the opposite of what I think cars should be: fast, sports and good looking. But I still think that people should be able to buy them if they want.
I noticed something in that quote… they want to start recording the type of cars in accidents… but if they don’t already, how do they know about the “increased risks of severe injuries and death associated with the vehicles.”?? Hmm?
Sssh. There shall be no pointing out of logical errors in scientific studies. It’s just rude.
I’ve got nothing against people buying SUVs either especially if they need them for towing horse-boxes and driving over fields or any other similar purpose. Neither have I a problem with town and city-dwellers driving them for it is always good to be able to identify eedjits at an early stage.