After an SUV lost control and took the lives of 4 people in Berlin, the streets erupted with protesters who argued SUVs have no place in urban areas. And for good reason: SUVs are a paradox.
While many people buy them to feel safer, they are statistically less safe than regular cars, both for those inside and those outside the vehicle. A person is 11% more likely to die in a crash inside an SUV than a regular car. On top of that, studies show they lull drivers into a false sense of security, encouraging them to take greater risks. Their height makes them twice as likely to roll in crashes and twice as likely to kill pedestrians by inflicting greater upper body. With head injuries, as opposed to lower limb injuries, people have a lesser chance of surviving.
Originally modeled from trucks, they are often exempt from the kinds of safety standards applied to passenger vehicles, including bonnet height. For this reason, European legislation is targeting SUVs and attempting to put an end to such “outdated and unjustified” exemptions. Oh, we forgot to mention something: SUVs have CO2 emissions that are 14 percent higher than an equivalent hatchback model.
We know this isn’t the most positive story, but we bring it up because perhaps it’s time to consider banning SUVs from urban areas. For a more eloquent case against these gas-guzzlers, take a look at this story by Laura Laker of the Guardian.