We know the design of SUVs kills pedestrians - why are we still allowing them to be sold ?
Why are big square-nosed SUVs everywhere? Because people love them and they sell.
Those front-end features that kill and maim pedestrians are, there's no other word for it, popular with consumers. The critical design factor of the high front end pushes people below the wheels instead of over the hood the way lower model cars do.
In 2015, researchers at the University of Michigan determined that pedestrians are more than three times as likely to be killed when struck by an SUV than when struck by a regular car. Researchers in pedestrian safety in SUV collisions have been warning about the front end design of SUVs since 2003.
Keith Bradsher is the author of High and Mighty: The Dangerous Rise of the SUV - download your Kindle edition now, and see if you can tie in these statements with SUV drivers you know and possibly love.
SUV drivers are similar to minivan drivers demographically, but they are more “self-oriented” psychologically, Bradsher has written. They are more fearful of crime, less likely to be involved in their communities, and less committed to their families, he wrote.
Minivan buyers tend to be more comfortable than sport utility buyers with being married; sport utility buyers are more commonly concerned with still feeling sexy, and like the idea that they could use their vehicles to start dating again.
In 2000, DaimlerChrysler Director of Market Research David Bostwick told Bradsher (click through to full article) that for consumers, ”It’s not safety as the issue, it’s aggressiveness, it’s the ability to go off the road.” Research also showed that SUV owners drive faster and place a lower value on being courteous on the road.
SUVs are designed specifically to appeal to this psychological profile, executives admitted:
DaimlerChrysler has chosen high-riding designs even for the two-wheel-drive versions of its sport utilities, even though they are unlikely to be driven over rough terrain and are therefore unlikely to need to ride higher, said David C. McKinnon, DaimlerChrysler’s director of vehicle exterior design. Mr. McKinnon said the company’s highest executives had told him repeatedly to ‘get them up in the air and make them husky.’
Up in the air, where drivers can't see dogs, or little kids.
Just great isn't it ?