The future as at best a haze. We can make or break it. My rants, visions, ideas and dreams hope to make a better future. Lets learn to live a better life. Raise your glasses (no it doesnt have to be alcohol - I am using orange juice!), and toast the future!

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Why I hate some cars, but not others.

Some people think the way I, and others (for example most greenpeace supporters) talk about SUVs sounds a little prejudice.

Why are they so bad?

Well it has as much to do with the attitude of the drivers of these vehicles as others. While sports cars are only 2 seaters, and allow drivers to drive at irresponsibly high speeds - they are not unnecessary petrol guzzlers. Indeed - the short term implication of sports cars is that they may lead to mroe speeding, and as a result more crash deaths - but lets hope the government continue to fine speeding drivers.

The SUV drivers show a much longer term lack of consideration. First there is the fact that with a few exceptions, most SUVs are the least fuel efficient vehicles. The most amusing is the sheer incompetance shown by some companies when it comes to this - for example the HumVee which has a worse performing engine than early victorian cars. Where people actually thinking with their brains - this should make the comapny the laughing stock of the industry. However - most people are foolish enough to burn away money on fuel for monster like these, all so they can claim to drive in style.

Which brings me to the point of why are they considered so stylish? They are great big boxy things. Some of them are designed for "off road" use, and heavy transport - but most are just styled to look like they can, and would probably be destroyed at the first major bump in an off road situation- and who needs to go "off road" inside the city anyway? Most of them are big and ugly, take up a lot of room and have all they style and looks of the Austin Princess.

Now one thing I have noticed is that many mothers appear to use these for the school run. Just in case they have to make an off-road cut accross school fields to avoid a collision with the lost geography teacher? I also have observed that it is also the more obese appearing people that use them, and proportionally more female than male.

They seem to have some odd notion that being in one of these vehicals will make them safer. Well heres the big shocker - you wont be. Only the real military ones, or ones sold for tv safari documentaries have proper imapct zones and roll cages. Most of them just look solid - but are not necessarily so. Because they are top heavy, and have poor traction as well as slightly overpowered engines - they also tend to roll fairly often. The other reason they are involved in more dangerous accidents - is because people perceive themselves as being in immense powerhouses, and take risks. This behaviour is not acceptable in any case - but at least when its a 17 tonne truck driver - he rally is in a powerhouse - your HumVee really does not have that kind of protection. In fact - you are normally better off in an older Volvo - which really were solid.

Now I do dislike some other cars - I generally think seven seaters are only really for those with large families (but isnt it a little thoughtless to have 5+ kids anyway?). I dont like racy cars with a top speed of 200+ mph - although they are much more fuel efficient than SUVs, without speed governers they are an accident waiting to happen.

The cars I really like are the small and practical ones. I love the Smart Car - its well formed, and designed for the city. They can also endure 1 or 2 hour long trips to other cities too. The Ford Ka is equally neat- a four seater, which is not bigger than it needs to be.

If you really need to get lots of people travelling, then hire a minibus or for moving - hire a transit. Unless you are doing this every day - there is no need to own one, and you will save money by hiring as well as appearing to care a little more about the state of your grandchildrens health.

My own solution is to use public transport where possible - which although not ideal, I am prepared to pay a little more to see it improve. Even with that "little bit more" public transport is still considerably cheaper than fuel, tax, insurance, mot and a private vehical.


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