SUVs were marketed as being safer because they were classified as light trucks.
This classification has been disastrous for actual safety.
One of the most dangerous things about SUVs is their bumper height.
American cars are required to have bumpers between 16 to 20 inches off the ground.
Light trucks don't have to deal with that regulation, so they can have their bumpers pretty much as high as they want.
SUVs were also stiffer than cars.
The original light trucks were built to haul or tow heavy weights, which means they needed a heavier stiffer chassis.
The chassis on light truck acted like a battering ram, and the people inside became a crumple zone.
Combine that with a high bumper and you run into a problem known as crash compatibility.
When two normal sized cars crash into each other, they are compatible in that their safety features are pretty much aligned and designed to work together which provides more protection to the drivers of both cars.
But when a regular car and an SUV crash into each other, the bigger, higher, stiffer vehicle doesn't line up with the smaller car's safety features which can make the crash more deadly.
It's even worse for anyone outside of a car.
When a person gets hit by a car, they're typically thrown onto the hood.
This can cause injury to the lower legs which sucks, but generally doesn't kill you at low speeds.
The higher front end of an SUV means the impact is centered near the torso and head which is much more deadly.
People hit by SUVs are also more likely to hit their head on the ground or go under the vehicle thanks to their high ground clearance.
Since the introduction of SUVs, there has been a massive increase in what are called front overs.
A person, usually a child, gets run over by an SUV by a driver who can't even see them.
Kids and Cars have been documenting the rise of front overs in America and the results are shocking.
In any civilized society, this information alone would be enough to regulate the hood design of SUVs and light trucks.
Instead, the industry solution for this is proximity sensors and front-facing cameras.
Car companies are happy for any regulations that mean they can sell you more stuff.
Drivers should be looking at the road and not a screen inside their SUV.
The market research determined that the average Light Truck purchaser was obsessed with status, less likely to volunteer or feel a strong connection to their communities, less giving oriented toward others, more afraid of crime, more likely to text and drive, more likely to take risks while driving, and more likely to think stuff looks cool.
Mark Rober put plastic animals on the side of the road to see which ones were most likely to get hit.
He found that some drivers would purposefully swerve to run over the animals and 89% of those people who tried to murder animals were driving SUVs.
SUVs are easier to park in cities and more maneuverable
SUVs are built to be cool and curvy, which means the actual usable space inside is shockingly low
The monstrously large Cadillac Escalade has 25.5 cubic feet of carrying space behind the last row of seats which is less than something like a Subaru Outback or Audi A6 Allroad both of which have over 30.
SUVs hold much less than you'd think because so much space is wasted by fancy styling, unnecessarily high ground clearance, car-smashing bumpers, and pedestrian-killing hoods.
SUVs are not practical for families and people who need to carry a lot of stuff.
Station Wagons and Minivans Are Better Options 20:59
Station wagons and minivans are superior vehicles for families with more storage space, better fuel efficiency, and plenty of room for kids.
Station wagons are still very common in Europe because they are practical and efficient.
Minivans beat an SUV every time, as they hold more stuff and are easier for passengers to get in and out of too because the doors are bigger and it's lower to the ground.
A minivan will hold more stuff and it's easier for passengers to get in and out of too because the doors are bigger and it's lower to the ground.
Cities in particular should be doing a lot more to regulate SUVs.
They go against every goal that cities have to reduce the effects of climate change, reduce pedestrian deaths, reduce traffic, maintain roads and make the best use of the limited space available.
City should tax Vehicles by weight and limit vehicles with bumpers that are too high or require commercial driver's licenses to operate them.
Licensing and ensuring SUVs should be more expensive too and since a big part of road safety is the kinetic energy of the crash which comes from mass and velocity than if the weight keeps increasing we should be decreasing the speed in other words cities can and should be lowering speed limits in response to heavier vehicles.