"Safety to me is avoiding the accident in the first place".
But yet you want to drag race other SUVs with your RAV 4?
"Body-on-frame SUV's offer far, far more overall protection than flimsy unibody vehicles."
Yes they do! Sadly with the discontinuation of the Crown Vics and Town Cars, there will be no more body on frame cars left, and hopefully that doesn't happen to all SUVs as well. It was nice when you could buy say a 76' Caprice, which could tow 7000 pounds with the towing package. Even the Crown Vics could tow up to 5,000. Everything seems to have went soft nowadays.
Actually, body-on-frame vehicles are not as safe as unibody vehicles, and for a few good reasons. Body-on-frame vehicles are top heavy, mostly because their bodies are on top of a full frame (hence "body-on-frame.") This makes them very easy to flip over when trying to avoid an accident. Another factor contributing to this "rolling-over" issue, is the fact that truck-based SUVs also use heavy duty springs and shocks, which, when compressed fully (such as when making an emergency maneuver) they spring back with extreme force, ever increasing the chances of a rollover. On top of this, the bodies are not reinforced. They don't need to be, the frame supports the entire weight of the vehicle. So when these vehicles roll over, their heavy frames crush the flimsy bodies that ride on top of them.
Unibody vehicles have a much lower center of gravity, therefore are not top heavy. When making an emergency maneuver, unibody vehicles do not have as much body lean (or such heavy duty suspension components) so a rollover is much less likely. If a unibody vehicle was to flip over however, it could support itself. Unibody vehicles have reinforced bodies, due to the lack of a frame.
Also, I must add, the Trailblazer line, SUCKS. We get these vehicles in my repair shop all the time with front end issues. Wheel bearings are especially bad. I've yet to see one of these vehicles with more than 120,000 miles on it. The last one to come in was burning oil severely at only 50,000 miles.
No, actually I don't want to drag race... I hardly have to give it any effort to pull away from any domestic junk SUV.
Even if it was dealer incompetence, GM should have taken responsibility and redesigned the crappy computers to control the system better! To let it go on for 8 years is ridiculous. Typical GM protocol though!
Thank you. Why people keep claiming full frame vehicles are so safe is beyond me. I really wish people would start thinking that avoiding accidents is safe, and crushing little cars in big SUV's is the real danger on our roads. This whole self preservation at whatever the cost mentality is why vehicles became so huge and cumbersome in the first place. We have never and will never need vehicles the size of school buses to cart ourselves around in.
Being a commuter with a fairly long ride, I see countless single drivers in Tahoe's, Escalades, Hummers, etc., and they are the dangerous ones. Riding higher up gives you the feeling you are moving slower, therefore they drive 75 to 80 mph because it doesn't feel that fast to them. I have seen more huge SUV's weaving in and out of traffic at ridiculously high speeds around here. I have seen a Jeep Grand Cherokee literally go up on two wheels at 75 MPH because he got into a panic stop situation and had to change lanes very quickly. How he saved it I will never know. He better have played the lottery though, because he will never see a luckier day. Any car would not have had that effect in that situation. Yes, there are kids in Civics doing 80 too, but they at least have some amount of control, and they can stop in half the distance of a large SUV.
I also see a much larger number of SUV's off the road in the winter, either flipped over or off into the woods 30 feet off of the road. They create some sort of false sense of security being big and 4 wheel drive. Truth is most of them are worse than a good front driver in the snow, due to the 20+ rims and fat tires that come on them these days. They float over the snow like a fan boat cruising though the Everglades.
Their size and weight are their own worst enemies. Momentum is a very dangerous thing. Yes, you will probably have a better chance in an accident with a Civic. Can you really go on being happy about your choice to drive a behemoth after you kill an innocent driver because you couldn't stop in time, or avoid hitting them due to your vehicles lousy handling capabilities? You are surely a different person than I if you can.
Last winter my friend skidded off a snowy road, went off a slight embankment and rolled his '96 Ford Explorer twice. Fortunately it landed on its wheels. He simply drove it back onto the road and continued on his way home. All it did was break off the exterior mirrors. If he had been driving a flimsy unibody (especially import) SUV, it would have had to be hauled away in pieces on a big flatbed.
Yeah, I'm sure you could take a Hemi Durango or a GMC Typhoon. Please, give me and everybody else a break for once!
I agree that the world would be a better place if everyone drove flimsy little cars. Sadly, until such a time comes, the average person (myself included) is going to want their family in a safe vehicle. The next time you see a totally squashed Civic that was hit by a totally undamaged Suburban, just ask yourself "Which car would I want MY family in?"
And the argument that the accidents are CAUSED by SUV's is not borne out by the facts. Most accidents involving small cars and big SUV's are the fault of the small car driver.
Most SUV drivers are older and more mature. They are less prone to drive recklessly, drink or do drugs and drive, or text while driving. Smaller cars are generally driven by young and inexperienced drivers, who tend to take excessive changes, drive while distracted and under the influence of alcohol or drugs. I don't know of a single SUV/small car accident that was caused by the SUV driver.
How come you don't mention 4-Runners or Sequoias in your comment, is it because they are built by Toyota?
Because it seems most people prefer the Escalade/ Tahoe SUV's around here. That is all I ever see. So what if Toyota makes large SUV's, I wouldn't buy any of theirs either. The 4 Runner is a medium sized SUV by the way. Sequoia and Land Cruiser are the ridiculous sized rides that come out of Toyota. Doesn't matter which brand really... large is not safe, period!
"large is not safe, period!"
That statement literally defies the laws of physics!! Every study done on car crashes has clearly shown that larger, heavier vehicles ALWAYS protect their drivers and passengers much better in any type of crash. An article on vehicle safety in a national science magazine had a great article on this topic in 2009. It featured a picture of a small Japanese car that a Ford Explorer had literally driven THROUGH. The Explorer didn't even have a broken windshield. I'll save the graphic description of what happened to the small car occupants. The Explorer occupants were, of course, unhurt.