7th Jun 2010, 11:50

"The IIHS probably rates these truck so unsafe due to high rollover probability and extremely poor side impact test results."

The roll-over issue is true of ALL SUV's (witness the latest Toyota recall of the high-end Lexus SUV that was rated "unsafe, don't buy") High, top-heavy vehicles are ALWAYS going to tip over. It is a law of physics that even mighty Toyota can't break.

As for side impacts, our good friends bought a used 2006 Envoy based on our excellent experience with our 2003. Not long after buying it, a drunk driver ran a light and T-boned them. The vehicle did a great job of protecting them and neither the driver or passenger was injured at all. The other driver was sent to the hospital with very severe injuries.

Although I totally AGREE that the huge, lumbering SUV's Americans love are VERY hazardous to people driving smaller and far more sensible vehicles, I do love my family very much, and until SUV's are outlawed (as I think they should be), I'll keep my family in one for their safety. Our neighbors all insist that their teenage children drive SUV's also for that very reason. I understand the reasoning totally, I just wish EVERYONE would drive smaller vehicles for EVERYONE'S safety (not to mention the tremendous benefits to our environment).

8th Jun 2010, 10:26

Just stating facts here really. These trucks are well known for their horrendous side impact test results as are most American trucks and SUV's. Your friend got really lucky, or they got hit by a much smaller car which probably lifted them up and over it. Get hit by another TB and it will be devastating.

9th Jun 2010, 19:59

To comment 11:50.

The only way to rid the roads of SUV's is to stop buying them. They'll never be outlawed, however, if sales drop enough on SUV's, and sales rise enough on smaller vehicles, then SUV production will slow considerably, and then the roads will become much more safe. You are the cause of the problem, and you are nowhere near the solution.

As for smaller vehicles being unsafe, well, tell my old '96 Honda Accord that after it DROVE AWAY from an accident severe enough to send the huge '80s Buick that hit me to the scrap heap.

10th Jun 2010, 16:05

People just have short term memory in this country when it comes to buying vehicles. In 2008, they couldn't give you an SUV due to gas being well over $4 per gallon. Now it is down to around $3 per gallon and SUV's are selling again.

This is the only reason I like it when gas prices climb. People are forced to make do with smaller more efficient and SAFER vehicles. Making sure your family is safe, completely disregarding everyone around you, seems to be the norm these days. I guess if you can live with yourself after mowing down innocent people who choose to drive more sensible vehicles, more power to you.

People should be sending their kids to good driving schools so they can learn the proper way to drive in all scenarios, and then the roads would be much safer without the need for 2 or 3 tons of steel around you. Going around the block and parallel parking in no way is an accurate measure of a person's ability to drive. Sad that the road test is such a joke and really does nothing to prepare young drivers for the real conditions they will undoubtedly encounter on the roads. To stick inexperienced drivers in big, heavy, poor handling SUV's because you fear for their safety is a big mistake, and exactly the opposite of what you should be doing. Talk about a dangerous combination!

11th Jun 2010, 11:21

I agree, but when it comes to our children's safety, the laws of physics trump sensible vehicles. Parents tend to be more concerned about safety than fuel economy or handling. A client of mine was hit head-on by a group of kids in a Honda Accord who lost control and veered into his lane (and what was that about GOOD HANDLING??). All three kids in the Accord died instantly, while my client (in a GM SUV) walked away with a sprained wrist. Another good friend of ours was killed instantly when she rear-ended a Ford F-150 and the "crumple zones" in her Acura crumpled all the way into her lap and crushed her. The F-150 was driven home.

And yes, SUV's are top-heavy and flip over easily, but if the driver and passenger are belted in there are seldom any injuries in roll-overs. I witnessed a young kid roll a Ford Explorer. He was distracted messing with the stereo and went off the edge of the pavement. He over-corrected and the Explorer flipped 5 times (he was doing about 70mph). He didn't get a scratch, although he was pretty shaken up.

There is no question that smaller, more sensible cars are safer for people in larger vehicles. Sadly, they are DEADLY for their drivers and passengers. As I look out my window in my middle-class neighborhood, I see three Trailblazers, one Envoy, one Saturn View, one Silverado, one F-250 and one F-150. These all belong to our neighbor's teen-age children. The reason? So many deaths of people (often teens) in small cars, and the numerous studies that clearly show your chances of survival increase with the size of your vehicle. No parent wants to take chances with their most precious possession. Until car makers stop making SUV's concerned parents will put their children in them for their safety. That is why I have long advocated outlawing them entirely or making them so small and light that they aren't such a hazard. A bowling ball will always smash an egg. I wouldn't want to be the egg.

11th Jun 2010, 19:45

When the gas prices went up, I bought nicer large vehicles at better pricing. I bought a conversion van and a SUV. I also sold my big house when the market peaked and moved into my smaller former house that I rented. It's paid off; smart buying at the right times.

12th Jun 2010, 11:41

Sending your children to an adequate driving school would be the proper choice here, not giving them a battering ram to run everyone over with. The kids in the Accord probably would not have died had they known how to drive properly, and the same could be said for the kid who rolled the Explorer 5 times. Oh, and as a side note, a Toyota 4Runner flipped around here and the baby in the back was killed instantly from the impact of the crash. Not sure why you think rolling a vehicle is safe. You might want to rethink that. One LUCKY break does not make it safe.

These accidents are caused by unsafe driving that could be avoided with proper training. There is no way they will be even remotely prepared for real world driving, which is why the crash rate for teens is about 50% in their first year of driving.

Until people get the right mentality in their heads about driving and how to do it properly and safely, I guess bigger is better, and to heck with everyone else will be the norm. I see people driving way too fast and out of control in SUV's every day like they are in sports cars. They are on the phone or cranking up the stereo without a care in the world. If they tried focusing on safely getting to their destination, there would be many less accidents. I have avoided countless accidents over the years because I properly pay attention to everyone around me. I drive small good handling cars and have gone around many close calls. I even stopped before rearending an SUV that plowed into the back of a pickup on the parkway. I was close enough to have to back up to go around the accident. Had I had an SUV, I would have been the third vehicle in that accident as there is NO WAY I would have stopped in as short a distance as I did with my car.

Safety comes from the driver, and until they make it tougher to get on the roads in this country without serious training, things will not get better but worse. Everyone feels it is an automatic right to drive with no limitations, and people die every day for it. Great system we have huh?