Take your E-brake off next time you get in the car James ;-) Your mileage is bound to improve :-]
My main issue with truckbased SUVs is that their owners have a false sense of security in them.
They´re marketed as vault-like vehicles for family transportation, when in fact they´re some of the least crashworthy vehicles on the road. Weight is not a positive issue when it comes to crashworthyness.. crushspace is... and the more weight you have, the more crushspace you need. I´m talking about impacts with solid objects (trees, walls, posts, etc) where the front end of the vehicle is made to absorb the impact and leave the passenger compartment unscathed all while slowing the car at a steady rate.
A truck´s longitunal frame members are not designed for safety, they are designed for strength in towing and load carrying. They are not designed to fold in on themselves in a predictable manner absorbing crash energy like a car´s front frame member is. They transfer crash energy to the passenger compartment in a very abrupt manner and fold in on themselves in a random manner. Also, the SUV´s greater mass demands much more of the front end to keep the passenger cell unscathed during a collision.. and often times, the 4 foot front end cannot handle the strain of a 4500lb vehicle slamming against it abruptly at 35mph. This means that the floor and transmission tunnel are very prone to giving way as the large engine and transmission are pushed through them.. Kiss your legs goodbye and say hello to a wheelchair.
The only place the extra weight helps during a crash is if you´re in a collision with a much lighter vehicle (scorts for example). Not only does the SUV´s large mass endanger the lives of anyone in a lighter vehicle, but the additional (and often useless) extra height of the SUV´s frame means that the car and SUV will not begin their decelleration when the bumpers meet, but when the SUV´s bumper contacts the hood of the car. This render´s the car´s last defense (the aforementioned crush space) nearly useless.
You may have heard that such and such a SUV got a 5 star crash test rating.. well, that´s on the truck/SUV scale, not the car scale. Cars ARE much safer than SUVs when colliding with a solid object.
I´m not even going to get into rollovers, because any vehicle can be rolled. It´s indisputable that an SUV rolls over much more easily, but it´s still fairly unlikely.
This is why I can´t stand SUVs and single SUV commuters. They have opted to put their safety above everyone else´s with a small vehicle. Sure, if all SUV drivers put them down for minivans and cars then there would still be delivery trucks, pick-ups and semis.. but we´re talking statistics now... and SUVs throw the chances of me dying on the highway sky high.. much higher than needed. So if you´re driving an SUV that gets 10mpg while talking on your cellphone, putting on your makeup and yelling at your one kid in the back.. I HATE YOU and the statement that you make to me everyday: "My life is inferior to yours despite the fact that you´re ill-informed and a sorry driver :-| "
[ This message was edited by: Beaverboy on 15-02-2003 17:00 ]