The term sport utility vehicle (SUV) may be relatively new to the American lexicon, but the automobiles they describe and the incompatibility problems they engender have been around for decades. When something big collides with something little, the smaller object usually loses. However, SUVs do not deserve all the blame. Studies consistently show that while light trucks and vans (LTVs)--a category that also includes pickups, vans, and SUVs--make up approximately one-third of all registered vehicles, collisions between them and cars account for more than half of all fatalities in crashes involving two light vehicles. Weight might be the most obvious mismatch, but a vehicle's height and frame stiffness also decreases a driver's changes of walking away unharmed. SUV fever shows no sign of cooling among American consumers, but people who buy them because they feel safer in a larger vehicle may be fooling themselves. While sheer weight gives SUV drivers an advantage in vehicle-to-vehicle wrecks, approximately 40% of all fatalities occur in single-vehicle crashes. Rollover propensity is also a risk.


  • English

Media Info

  • Features: Photos;
  • Pagination: p. 10-13
  • Serial:

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00793957
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jun 8 2000 12:00AM