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'A deadly problem': should we ban SUVs from our cities?

  • 07-10-2019 8:03am
    #1
    Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 43,513 Mod ✭✭✭✭ magicbastarder
    Moderator


    Statistically less safe than regular cars and with higher CO2 emissions, campaigners argue the heavily-marketed cars have no place in urban areas

    "SUV insanity” shouted the front page of German business newspaper Handelsblatt earlier this month, showcasing a weekend special questioning the aggressive marketing by carmakers of highly profitable 4x4 vehicles.

    That evening, at a busy Berlin intersection, the driver of a Porsche Macan SUV lost control of his vehicle and mounted the pavement, killing four people: a three-year-old boy and his 64-year-old grandmother, and two men in their 20s.

    The city erupted. “It was no longer a theoretical danger; people were being killed,” says Benjamin Stephan, a transport and climate change campaigner at Greenpeace. “There was a public outcry. It didn’t come from nowhere, people are upset about these cars.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2019/oct/07/a-deadly-problem-should-we-ban-suvs-from-our-cities

    i'm bemused by volvo's claim that no-one will die in a volvo after 2020. they'll achieve that with the XC90, it's so big now that hitting a pedestrian or another car in it will be like a gnat hitting the front of a supertanker.
    it's 1776mm tall; or 5'10" in old money. you'd need to be easily over 6 foot to see over the damn thing. it's a monster.


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Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,978 ✭✭✭ dashoonage
    Registered User


    At this stage i think we should just ban going outside full stop.


  • Registered Users Posts: 27,465 ✭✭✭✭ drunkmonkey
    Registered User


    Nobody has died in an xc90 since records began in 2004. Safest car on the road. If the government were serious about cutting down on road deaths they'd be vat and vrt free.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,597 ✭✭✭ Xterminator
    Registered User


    it's so big now that hitting a pedestrian or another car in it will be like a gnat hitting the front of a supertanker.
    it's 1776mm tall; or 5'10" in old money. you'd need to be easily over 6 foot to see over the damn thing. it's a monster.


    Are you proposing we ban vans and pickups etc? they can be bigger. Of course not.


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,629 ✭✭✭✭ banie01
    Registered User


    Nobody has died in an xc90 since records began in 2004. Safest car on the road. If the government were serious about cutting down on road deaths they'd be vat and vrt free.

    That's why they are the vehicle of choice for the armed response units.
    Just being in one gives a vicarious invulnerability.

    Saves a fortune on body armour.


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 43,513 Mod ✭✭✭✭ magicbastarder
    Moderator


    Are you proposing we ban vans and pickups etc?
    i've proposed nothing. i just copied and pasted the article headline.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 32,140 ✭✭✭✭ is_that_so
    Registered User


    No fan of them myself and would never drive one but the real story is a driver losing control of a car. That it's an SUV feeds into the current climate debate which, IMO, is what makes it such a big story. I agree with others that it's a bit blinkered given its moderate size in comparison with other vehicles. Making where pedestrians and other road users meet safer for all strikes me as a better aim, even if that means moving all vehicles out of a particular location.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,993 ✭✭✭ quokula
    Registered User


    Are you proposing we ban vans and pickups etc? they can be bigger. Of course not.

    There’s all kinds of machinery that’s perfectly fine for a professional to use without it being a good idea for every other parent to be swinging it around on the school run.

    As the article states, statistics show that SUVs are more dangerous for the people inside the car too, mainly because they’re more likely to lose control and roll over.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Music Moderators, Politics Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 22,315 CMod ✭✭✭✭ Dravokivich
    Category Moderator


    quokula wrote: »
    There’s all kinds of machinery that’s perfectly fine for a professional to use without it being a good idea for every other parent to be swinging it around on the school run.

    As the article states, statistics show that SUVs are more dangerous for the people inside the car too, mainly because they’re more likely to lose control and roll over.

    Surely that's not still an issue? When you look over the Garda Traffic feed or the Fire Brigade feed on twitter, it's all small hatchbacks that seem to be rolled over in single car accidents.


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 43,513 Mod ✭✭✭✭ magicbastarder
    Moderator


    Nobody has died in an xc90 since records began in 2004. Safest car on the road. If the government were serious about cutting down on road deaths they'd be vat and vrt free.
    people have been killed *by* XC90s though, iirc.
    i just don't think we should be so focussed on making our roads safe by indulging in an ever increasing arms race (for want of a better word) of car safety, if the answer is a car the size of an XC90, which on average would only be carrying one or two occupants at a time.

    i'll admit to one definite issue i have with them, and it's the height issue i mentioned earlier. when i go into the office, i commute by bike, and one obvious part of anticipating the road and environment around me for my own safety, is being able to see it - and i can't see over a lot of SUVs, they're so tall. so i have to be more cautious when around them in traffic.

    and of course i have to deal with vans and the like too, but they're usually big because they need to be. it's rare i meet an XC90 on the strand road or wherever, because the owner has a need for a vehicle of that size. staying in the volvo stable, the S90 is a very safe car but manages to do this while being over a foot shorter.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,737 ✭✭✭ Yer Da sells Avon


    I'd ban them solely because of the amount of unnecessary space they take up on streets that weren't built to carry cars of that size. Trying to squeeze a bus past them on certain roads can be difficult. Which strikes me as very unfair - up to 70 people being delayed because of a single-occupant vehicle that nobody needs.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,474 ✭✭✭ jim o doom
    Registered User


    Honestly, I think large SUVs, and massive jeeps that are only used for city driving by families should be banned.

    Pick ups / large bans / anything used for legitimate commercial purposes should be allowed as they are necessary.

    But these giant school run gas guzzling beasts, generally driven by incompetent f-wits, and who additionally seem to have the parking skill of the average blind person.. and the vehicles are as big as two parking spaces anyway? Either ban them or tax them SO heavily that people just take them off the road rather than tax them.


  • Registered Users Posts: 17,424 ✭✭✭✭ cnocbui
    Registered User


    Road tax, VRT, should be solely on the weight of the vehicle. The insurance levy should be proportional to weight.

    Road damage is proportional to vehicle weight and death and serious injury is affected hugely by the difference in weight between colliding vehicles.

    Governments should do something to discourage the arms race that is going on with vehicle weights.


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 43,513 Mod ✭✭✭✭ magicbastarder
    Moderator


    Surely that's not still an issue? When you look over the Garda Traffic feed or the Fire Brigade feed on twitter, it's all small hatchbacks that seem to be rolled over in single car accidents.
    i wouldn't necessarily think that's going to be a reliable sample. a quick google seems to suggest SUVs do have higher rollover rates, but the survivability of a rollover is higher in an SUV than in a normal car.
    also one interexting factoid (and i've not seen a proof for this claim) is that adding people to a car makes it more stable, but adding people to an SUV makes it less stable.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,296 ✭✭✭ Cordell
    Registered User


    I'd ban them solely because of the amount of unnecessary space they take up on streets that weren't built to carry cars of that size. Trying to squeeze a bus past them on certain roads can be difficult. Which strikes me as very unfair - up to 70 people being delayed because of a single-occupant vehicle that nobody needs.

    They don't, most crossover SUVs like Kuga and Tucson take a bit less than the family saloons like Passat and Mondeo.


  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Music Moderators, Politics Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 22,315 CMod ✭✭✭✭ Dravokivich
    Category Moderator


    i wouldn't necessarily think that's going to be a reliable sample. a quick google seems to suggest SUVs do have higher rollover rates, but the survivability of a rollover is higher in an SUV than in a normal car.
    also one interexting factoid (and i've not seen a proof for this claim) is that adding people to a car makes it more stable, but adding people to an SUV makes it less stable.

    I think that's swayed by a lot of historical data though.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,737 ✭✭✭ Yer Da sells Avon


    Cordell wrote: »
    They don't, most crossover SUVs like Kuga and Tucson take a bit less than the family saloons like Passat and Mondeo.

    Some of the bigger ones are over two metres wide and five metres long. No non-commercial vehicle should be that size.


  • Registered Users Posts: 20,925 ✭✭✭✭ Alun
    Registered User


    Some of the bigger ones are over two metres wide and five metres long. No non-commercial vehicle should be that size.
    Some do, but many don't. As mentioned the majority of so-called crossovers are pretty much identical in width and length to their saloon counterparts but are slightly higher, maybe 15cm or so, so where exactly do you draw the line?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,737 ✭✭✭ Yer Da sells Avon


    Alun wrote: »
    Some do, but many don't. As mentioned the majority of so-called crossovers are pretty much identical in width and length to their saloon counterparts but are slightly higher, maybe 15cm or so, so where exactly do you draw the line?

    You draw the line somewhere before the larger ones (Range Rover, BMW X5, the ugly Porsche thing, etc) - i.e. the ones that aren't based on the same platform as family hatchbacks. If you need a 4x4 because you live in the sticks, fine. Keep it there. If you're dragging your stupid ugly two-metre-wide, five-metre-long single-occupant status symbol through towns and cities every morning, you should at the very least be forced to pay a prohibitively high price for the privilege.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,474 ✭✭✭ jim o doom
    Registered User


    OSI wrote: »
    The car involved in the OPs story is barely any bigger than a VW Golf, so where exactly would you like to draw the line. Do we all go back to Austin Minis?

    Well if that PARTICULAR vehicle is small, then it should not be included in any ban.

    Are you driving around in some ridiculously massive, 2 car parking space hogging land rover that's never once been near a field? If you are, why exactly?

    I would propose that it be in place for the ridiculously large vehicles I outlined in my original post - so those small mini jeeps wouldn't be included, just unnecessarily large jeeps and SUVs which are a danger on the roads, take up too much parking space and use excessive fuel due to the size and weight of the vehicle.

    I would have thought that was pretty clear to be honest.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,474 ✭✭✭ jim o doom
    Registered User


    I don't see the actual point in these huge private vehicles, we could all go online and find vehicles which are just a little larger than a normal car, and we could also all go online and find plenty examples of excessively large vehicles too.

    There could be a series of size guidelines showing what's acceptable, and anything larger than that could then be taxed heavily.

    That obviously doesn't mean we all need to be driving austin minis. And the current (BMW basically) mini is a relatively large, normal sized car.. the old austin ones are really small.

    It's like suggesting we should all be driving smart cars, since people don't want road hogging vehicles about.


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  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 43,513 Mod ✭✭✭✭ magicbastarder
    Moderator


    i drive an octavia, hardly a dinky little thing. i think the kerb weight is 1.4 tons; the kerb weight of an X7 is 2.4 tons.
    going by the 'third power of the weight per axle' guideline for wear and tear on the road, the X7 causes five times as much road damage as my car does.


  • Registered Users Posts: 15,795 ✭✭✭✭ iamwhoiam
    Registered User


    I think they should be banned from car parks actually .How many times have I come back to my car to find a poorly parked SUV too close to be able to open my driver door adequately .
    They can have wider spaces for them and make it compulsory to park in them and not in the narrower . I have watched people trying to park and SUV and be over the line and far too close to other cars .


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,626 ✭✭✭✭ meeeeh
    Registered User


    Can we just ban crossovers as an insult to good taste. People have to be protected from making themselves look ridiculous in buckets on four wheels pretending to be 4x4's.

    I don't like 4x4's but in fairness I don't think Skoda Superb I drive is exactly small. I can see why people would find them objectionable but I'm not sure outright ban would work. I think limiting cars in city centers and increasing public transport and other modes of transport make a lot more sense than measuring the size of a car and banning them because they are 3mm over the height or whatever.


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 43,513 Mod ✭✭✭✭ magicbastarder
    Moderator


    meeeeh wrote: »
    I don't like 4x4's but in fairness I don't think Skoda Superb I drive is exactly small.
    i know i keep going back to it, but the key dimension for me is height, and thus ability to see over or through the car.
    your car (assuming this link is accurate) is 1468mm high:
    https://www.automobiledimension.com/skoda-car-dimensions.html

    but a range rover is 1836mm:
    https://www.automobiledimension.com/land-rover-car-dimensions.html

    that's 368mm, or about 14 inches. which is a much more significant size difference than the width or length of the cars.
    it's the difference between, for example, when waiting at a junction, of being able to see through the glass of the car alongside, or quite literally staring at the door handles of it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 11,626 ✭✭✭✭ meeeeh
    Registered User


    i know i keep going back to it, but the key dimension for me is height, and thus ability to see over or through the car.
    your car (assuming this link is accurate) is 1468mm high:
    https://www.automobiledimension.com/skoda-car-dimensions.html

    but a range rover is 1836mm:
    https://www.automobiledimension.com/land-rover-car-dimensions.html

    that's 368mm, or about 14 inches. which is a much more significant size difference than the width or length of the cars.
    it's the difference between, for example, when waiting at a junction, of being able to see through the glass of the car alongside, or quite literally staring at the door handles of it.
    It's not just that. Suv hits you at a higher point where there are vital body organs. I think it's the height of impact that makes SUVs dangerous. They are not a city car for me but they car of choice (and frankly necessity) in certain industries. And forcing people to use another smaller go around vehicle just for cities will not help with climate change.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,296 ✭✭✭ Cordell
    Registered User


    Alun wrote: »
    so where exactly do you draw the line?
    Around "anything bigger than mine it's too big and too dangerous and needs to be either banned or taxed into submission" :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,982 ✭✭✭ Tombo2001
    Registered User


    It would be much easier if we just banned everyone and everything that isn't a car driver.

    Pedestrians - get rid of them. Cyclists get rid of them. Scooters- get rid of them.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,808 ✭✭✭ Duckjob
    Registered User


    I don't like SUVs. Never have. Even so, I think think banning them outright from cities is the answer. Would make much more logical sense to put them into a truck/bus licence category, since you see people everyday who simply don't have the ability to drive them safely.

    People who really need them can go and obtain the licence for them, whereas the additional licence requirement should deter 95% of those who don't have a specific need for them.

    Also, tax the sh*t out of them since due to their extra weight they create huge amounts of unnecessary wear and tear on our roads.


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 43,513 Mod ✭✭✭✭ magicbastarder
    Moderator


    i don't think a ban would be workable. how would you define them, for a start?
    though there was one guys years ago where i worked who drove a dodge ram into work, and one of the big ones (four wheels on the rear axle).
    facilities mailed him and instructed him he was not allowed bring it into the car park; it took up two spaces. though that wasn't an SUV by the normal understanding of the word.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 24,752 ✭✭✭✭ Wishbone Ash
    Registered User


    cnocbui wrote: »
    Road tax, VRT, should be solely on the weight of the vehicle. The insurance levy should be proportional to weight....
    That would make many high powered sports cars much cheaper to tax/insure than a standard family car. That wouldn't make any sense.


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