SUVs or sports utility vehicles have been popular among car shoppers. In fact, German Institute IHS Automationsurveyed in 2015 and found that SUVs market share is around 25%. That is almost 22 million SUVs were sold worldwide. And the market is expected to go higher, that by the year 2020, up to 28% cars you’ll see on the road are SUVs.
Will that be a good thing or not considering the many reported disadvantages of owning an SUV? Let us explore the bad side of having an SUV, so you’ll have an idea.
Rollover accidents are due to the high center of gravity. It usually happens when the driver suddenly makes a sharp turn (which generally occurs during an emergency maneuver). The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in the United States gave a figure that shows that SUVs chance of rollover range between 14% and 23%. The AWD (all-wheel-drive) Ford Edge has 14% risk and the FWD (front-wheel-drive) Ford Escape has 23% of rollover accidents.
NHTSA also confirmed that SUVs are at a more significant disadvantage which means the double chance of the car rolling over when the driver accidentally falls asleep or lose his control swerving around something. This comprises 43% of fatal accidents on the road. Data also shows that SUVs has a higher fatality rate compared to other cars manufactured by the same company.
SUVs are designed with a truck-style chassis with a separate body. Toyota Fortuner and Mitsubishi Montero Sport are midsize SUVs built on body-on-frame chassis. Originally developed and designed as a work vehicle with high ground clearance and plentiful cargo space, SUVs are not safe to be used as a passenger vehicle from the very beginning. It offers less protection to its passengers compared to those designed to be a regular passenger car.
Wide Bodies And Visibility
SUVs have a large body, which is not only difficult to maneuver on narrow roads, but it is also a struggle when you’re in a crowded parking area. It is hard to tell if the object behind your car is too close to your vehicle because SUV’s body is longer. The broad C-pillars could block your view when you are backing up. This trouble with rearward vision often causes backover accidents that often lead to death. Many reports of children being run over in the driveways when a car is backing out are due to this poor visibility.
The ample seating capacity (up to 7 passengers) could be an advantage to people inside the vehicles but could pose a risk to those driving small cars in a multi-vehicle accident, especially on the side impacts. Its higher bumper height put it at increased risk in crashes. The hard points found in the chassis rails of SUVs are higher than that of cars, causing SUV to trample upon the compartment of the engine and crumple zone.
Let’s check on fuel consumption. SUVs are not economical. People recently purchasing SUVs more is one of the reasons why there is a tremendous increase in the use of gasoline. SUVs consume more fuel than minivans or regular passenger vehicles. Some SUVs that exceeds 8,500 pounds GVWR or gross vehicle weight rating are already classified as a light truck. Higher mass demands higher energy.
And because SUVs use more fuel, naturally, they produce higher volumes of pollutants such as carbon dioxide. This fact is confirmed by Life Cycle Assessment who is responsible for quantifying the environmental impacts of cars.
Like any other product, SUVs has its good and bad side. It’s the marketing and advertisements that make it look as if it’s all good, the best fit for you. Don’t be blinded because the truth of the fact is that it is not custom-made for you. Anything can happen along the way.
So, before you purchase any vehicle, understand what it is that you need and your priorities. SUVs may seem ideal, but you need to think it over, balancing the advantages and the disadvantages. If it’s the type that fits your personality and lifestyle, then go for it.