Friday, November 26, 2004

SUVs - A New Crusade

I never thought I would be willing to take on a new crusade; but, here it is. I think anyone driving the new SUVs needs to fill out a form that explains EXACTLY why they think they need one. They have to be the most dangerous of all vehicles on the road for drivers of ordinary cars.

Rearview mirrors and side mirrors have been placed on vehicles based upon an expected level for all vehicles (excluding, obviously, large trucks and transport vehicles) and the world was capable of dealing with the occasional high-beam driver. BUT, now it's become seriously dangerous for night drivers to go on the road because of these invasive vehicles. SUVs serve no purpose but status for a new generation -- an outrageous reason to impose one's desires onto their fellow citizens.

A perfect example occurred on my recent trip to Tennessee. Because of a rock slide in the Smokies, the lanes were reduced to single lane for both directions, separated by low dividers, giving the effect of maneuvering through a "shute." As Murphy's Law would have it, the weather was fine until reaching this incredibly dangerous section of road. The skies opened and high winds added to the danger. NO! SUVs have made it "eminent death road"! Because of the height of the SUV following behind, using the night view of the rearview mirror was useless. In addition, the beams also lit up the sideview mirrors causing severe viewing limitations. Oncoming vehicles would hit a curve that placed their light beams directly into your eyes causing total night blindness! Humans have now become the, "deer in the headlights."

There was a time when night driving was unpleasant because the eye had to constantly adjust to the light changes of passing vehicles. Now, it has become a dance with death. And, there is no excuse for it, except for the vanity of those people wanting a "new" look for their generation's cars. A station wagon at the same level of other vehicles would serve the purpose of the SUV, carrying larger loads than just passengers. Oh, yeah, I forgot, these folks like to take their vehicles into exotic places. Well, maybe, two of them do; the rest just want the SUV in the drive to give the impression that they drive in exotic places.

I don't understand how a country that has rounded the corners of its childrens' toys, made schoolyard playground equipment out of plastic and put safety harnesses into vehicles for the safety of its citizens could have ever allowed these vehicles onto their roads. Surely, someone at the factory checked them out? It was bad enough when everyone had to have a van but, at least, the oncoming lights problem had a look-to-the-edge-of-the-road-until-it-passes resolution. Now, we have gone too far. You can't escape the invasive SUV lights. Coupled with oncoming traffic, lives are at stake and it is unforgiveable. There is more than one generation on the road and we shouldn't have to tolerate this intrusive killer on our highways.