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Juan Carlos Copes
 
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Fact: 4x4 and SUV Drivers are Idiots

10 January 2014, 13:45
You've been cut off again by some aggressive SUV driver. Or worse, he's been flashing his lights and fingers at you in rage. So you think again, if only you could shoot the jerk. Well, it turns out you would be improving society by doing just that.

We all have to face the fact that there has been a prolferation of 4x4s and SUVs on the roads in the last 10 years or so. Particularly in Pretoria and Sandton. So why should this be?

People I have spoken to say things like "I like a high driving position", or "I need it to go off-road" (unsaid: "and drive over small animals and their homes there") . Whatever the reason, it is a good feeling to be higher than all the other drivers, so you can see traffic and road conditions well. The reason you see so well is the same reason you restrict visibility and increase risks for other road users. You also feel safe. There's nothing like being ensconsed in 3 tons of steel to be safe. The modern 4x4 is also fast, much faster than many small cars, so it has performance to excite. The N3 right hand lane is practically reserved for aggressive 4x4s these days. It's completely practical, you can carry as much as you need around. It also doesn't damage easily, you can bump into trees and animals with much less risk of damage than you would have with a small car. It's good for potholes and pavements, those big wheels take it all in their stride.  No one can see you from their small cars, so they don't notice that you're texting or speaking on the cell. You can park at the mall and open your big door onto the small car next to you and leave a nasty scratch and dent on it with no worries for yourself. You can reverse into small cars at the mall that are too small to see well and again, negligible damage to your 4x4.  You can drive over the neighbour's child, dog, or even the neighbour himself by mistake while reversing and no problem for you. Except, of course, you're probably more likely to reverse over your own child, but at least it won't be you being reversed over. It takes up lots of space wherever it is, reducing space for other road users, like bicycles and motorbikes. All in all, a perfect car.

It has some other less-well known benefits. A fast car increases testosterone levels. SUV drivers simply drive worse than other car drivers because they feel safer. SUV drivers are more aggressive, take more risks and are more likely to break the law than small car drivers. SUV drivers are substantially safer and less likely to die than the car drivers they smash into. Worst of all, 4x4 drivers and the rest of society are in denial - check out the comments I got previously: http://www.news24.com/MyNews24/The-Road-Problem-No-One-Will-Mention-20130810

SUVs are causing more fatalities on the roads, since their proliferation has caused the benefits of increased technology in the form of vehicle safety to be lost. Fatalties  should be reducing, but they are not.

At this point in the article, the average narcissist will be thinking, "although it's true, I am a jerk, none of this can be proven." Think again. I have included links to peer reviewed articles below that backup every statement I've made.

The main drawback for the average narcissist is the high SUV cost. Car manufacturers make more profit from an SUV than smaller vehicles. For the price of a SUV can probably hire a vehicle for that trip to the Swamps you feel is necessary to justify the purchase, then still buy two more socially acceptable small cars.

But then, why think about others? If you're the narcissistic jerk the car manufactures' think you are, you'll feel perfectly ok endangering everyone else's lives on your daily commute to work. And believe it or not, the reason I know all this is I used to be a 4x4 driver myself. Those were the days...

Links you should read (or shouldn't if you have a 4x4):

SUVs are causing more fatalities on the roads, since their proliferation has caused the benefits of increased technology in the form of vehicle safety to be lost. Fatalties  should be reducing, but they are not. http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/features/2001/0212.mencimer.html

"Unlike any other vehicle before it, the SUV is the car of choice for the nation's most self-centered people; and the bigger the SUV, the more of a jerk its driver is likely to be. ""To illustrate the kind of selfishness that marks some SUV drivers, ..  people who rave about how they've survived accidents with barely a scratch, yet neglected to mention that the people in the other car were all killed. (One such woman confesses rather chillingly .. that her first response after killing another driver was to go out and get an even bigger SUV.) The tragedy of SUVs is that highway fatalities were actually in decline before SUVs came into vogue, even though Americans were driving farther. "
http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/features/2001/0212.mencimer.html

SUV buyers tend to be "insecure and vain. They are frequently nervous about their marriages and uncomfortable about parenthood. They often lack confidence in their driving skills. Above all, they are apt to be self-centered and self-absorbed, with little interest in their neighbors and communities. http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/features/2001/0212.mencimer.html

SUV drivers are safer than the car drivers they smash into: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/05/130514135417.htm

Fast cars increase testosterone: http://www.autoblog.com/2009/10/15/study-men-cant-help-but-enjoy-fast-cars-its-that-testostero/

SUV drivers most aggressive, take more risks: http://news.drive.com.au/drive/motor-news/suv-drivers-most-aggressive-20130513-2ji0x.html
http://www.carsguide.com.au/news-and-reviews/car-news/suv_drivers_most_aggressive

SUV drivers break the law more often:
http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20060626/238241.shtml

Men who's masculinity is threatened buy SUVs:
http://news.stanford.edu/news/2013/april/masculine-testosterone-response-041613.html
http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.204.8118&rep=rep1&type=pdf

60% of reversing accidents are caused by SUVs:
http://www.kidsandcars.org/userfiles/dangers/backovers-fact-sheet.pdf

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