Junior Gives Thoughts On Dangers of SUVs, Light Trucks

Junior Gives Thoughts On Dangers of SUVs, Light Trucks
Photo Credit: Blair Williams

Seeing light trucks and vans (LTVs) has become commonplace on our roads now, but a fact that everyone seems to not notice is that SUVs and light trucks are not safe on the road and marketing for these vehicles is fueled by a tax loophole that has led to billions of dollars that motor companies owe the government that they will never be paid.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration did research on crash compatibility of LTVs. Crash compatibility is the ability for two vehicles to absorb the shock of hitting one another. This research has shown that LTVs are not crash compatible with many other vehicles. This is likely due to most LTVs having higher suspension to go offroad, however this also leads to them not absorbing a substantial amount of the shock of them hitting an average sized car or an average sized car hitting them leading to the brunt of the damage being left to the car and its inhabitants. The NHTSA provides ratio statistics of fatalities in frontal collisions between LTVs and cars. Between full size pickups and cars the ratio of deaths is 1:5.3 only being overshadowed by full size vans at 1:6.

Higher suspension for off road driving does not only cause bad shock absorption in a collision, it also leads to more fatal consequences of being hit by one of these Goliaths. When you are hit by a car with regular suspension the main brunt of the impact is focused on your legs. The impact will put you in the hospital for a time but ultimately hardly fatal. But when an SUV or LTV hits you, the focus is on your head and chest, making them more fatal. This higher suspension which is often accompanied by a longer hood also reduces visibility. Many have measured by putting toddlers in front of a truck that is not running. You can stack about 10 toddlers in front of it before you can see one of their heads.

So why are we seeing so many of these dangerous vehicles? The gas guzzler tax (a tax that encourages more fuel efficient vehicles) has an exemption to SUV’s and light trucks. Automakers are promoting these dangerous vehicles to exploit a tax loophole which they will reap billions, billions the government will never receive. This ultimately makes America more car dependent and reliant on foreign oil which is only more money the government will spend causing the already large debt to rise higher and higher.

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