Prejudice

I’m not naive or arrogant enough to state that I don’t have prejudices. That’s not what I’m going to rant about today. I’m talking about one prejudice in particular. It’s one that’s really been bugging me lately (and this is not specifically about your comment the other day Mike, so please don’t take offence.) I’m talking about people’s blind hatred towards SUV’s (or 4WDs or trucks or whatever you call them in your country).

I read comments in three newspapers this weekend which were slating trucks. They go on about how all SUV drivers are tailgaters. How we deliberately try to intimidate. How we have some kind of inferiority syndrome which means that we have to drive large vehicles. What the hell? Where do you people get off?

While those things may be true of some people, they are certainly not true of all of us. As with most prejudices, this one is borne of ignorance. For those people that hate the drivers of large vehicles, did you ever stop to think about why it is that we might have them? People bag ‘city 4WDs’. Sure – I don’t go off road in mine. But why would ? I drive it in 2WD mode unless the weather is really bad. I didn’t buy it as a sport vehicle. I bought it because it is the most practical vehicle I could find that will allow me to fit a twin stroller in the boot and still leave enough space for the rest of the stuff that’s required when you go away for a night with two babies.

I don’t like station wagons. I don’t like how they look. They don’t use less gas than my truck and they don’t have any other benefits. My truck uses less gas than my last car did, and it is the more environmentally friendly 91 version. It doesn’t go as fast as my last car and I drive it more sensibly. I don’t sit on people’s bumpers any more than I used to.

I have a friend that drives a Smart Car. Someone left a note on her windscreen the other day thanking her for driving such a sensible car and commenting on how much they hate SUVs. That’s great, but she doesn’t have kids! If she did I can guarantee you she’d be trading up.

So come on, all of you blind truck haters. Get over yourselves!

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9 thoughts on “Prejudice

  1. Did you ever stop to think that one of the reasons people don’t like SUVs is fear? Crashing in an SUV is more likely to damage pedestrians, the “crashee”, and those inside the SUV.

    Put frankly, if you hit us, you’ll hurt us more.

    * A good portion of SUVs have bullbars — which are not known for their safety in a crash (http://www.ltsa.govt.nz/factsheets/22.html)
    * Their higher centre of gravity, plus larger weight means they have a tendency to roll. (http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/topics/Sport_utility_vehicle http://consumerlawpage.com/article/4by4-rollovers.shtml http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criticism_of_sport_utility_vehicles)
    * Also, if something significantly heavier hits you who do will end up with the most damage?

    Tell me, if you were in a smaller car with your babies in the back, how would you feel if all you could see in your rear vision mirror was the front of a large SUV? The car which is infamous for rolling / doing more damage when in a crash …

  2. Your argument is one that hadn’t occurred to me.

    While I accept that you feel like that and I am not discounting your points altogether, I don’t believe that the majority of people that dilike SUVs dislike them for that reason. If that was the case, why don’t you all hate delivery trucks?

    No one likes a crash of ANY sort, with ANY vehicle.

    It doesn’t change the fact that for some people, SUVs are the best option and that doesn’t make us bad people.

    ps I don’t have bullbars – I have no need for them.

  3. [quote]why don’t you all hate delivery trucks?[/quote]
    A valid counter argument! 😀

    I can see your point that some people need an SUV. I fail to see why a 2.4L SUV is a better town-car than a 1.8L Station Wagon though 😉

    But it is your choice, not mine.

    All I can do is hope that (a) we get better public transort (ha!) and (b) petrol efficiency in *all* cars continues to rise.

  4. I seriously looked at stations wagons. There were two reason why I went for the SUV.

    590 cubic litres of boot space in the station wagon vs 882 cubic litres in the SUV. (Have you seen the size of a twin stroller?!!)

    The SUV comes with an extra row of seats (it seats 7).

    But I hear you on the petrol efficiency…

  5. Someone commuting alone in a Ford Expedition is a massive waste of gas. That’s my only real beef with large SUVs (note the “large” qualifier, and I’d say that about large cars like cadillacs with V8 engines too).

    If you have kids fine, have an SUV for when you’re carting them around. But take the small car to work if you drive by yourself and spare the environment.

  6. Sorry to jump on the band wagon but I kind of take issue of the idea that you “need” the extra space as well. People have been managing perfectly well with two (or more) kids with a sedan let alone a station wagon. When our two were young my wife had a small Corolla sedan and she had no problems.

    And just to be a little cheeky 😉 You savaged some parents for not using cloth nappies then you turn around and buy an SUV to drive your kids around in? Am I the only one who had a chuckle over this? 🙂 While your SUV may not be as bad as some people first thought it cant possibly be better for the environment than your standard family car which is half the size. Which has managed it’s job adequately for 60-70 years now.. (sorry Sarah.. couldn’t resist)

  7. Jump right on…

    My husband and I both had average sized sedans (he still does). The boot would NOT SHUT with the twin stroller (one that is suitable for newborns – not the flimsy toddler ones) in it. In order to fit that stroller and still have room for groceries (not to mention going away for a weekend), the boot space is a necessity.

    I think you missed my comment in the nappy post – my SUV is considerably more environmentally friendly than my last car, which was your ’standard family car’.

  8. People who hate SUVs are the same people who think that if the US/EU/AUS/NZ etc went green the world would be saved. China OR India would still “end the world” easily by themselves if you believe that sort of thing. Your SUV isn’t doing any more damage than would have been done by you driving anyway. Everyone could start driving SUVs and it would still be less than a percent of the total global carbon output.

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