Tuesday, June 30, 2009

What's with SUV drivers?

Based on two recent incidents, I have decided that many people who drive SUVs are idiots. (ok - this is going to be a rant, so prepare yourself.)

About a week ago an SUV cut us off as my husband and I were driving on the service road bordering our apartment complex. The operator of that oversized vehicle whizzed by a parking space, seeing it only at the last moment. As we pulled into the space, his backup lights came on. He pulled alongside our car, got out, and approached the driver's window wanting to know what we thought we were doing. He challenged us to get out of the car and discuss why we had stolen his parking space! He left his SUV in the middle of the one-lane service road, blocking traffic and instructing all motorists who approached to back up and go around. He kept us prisoners in our car until I called Security at our apartment complex. This whole incident took more than half an hour, during which time we had no idea if this SUV driver was armed & violent or just highly egotistical and stubborn. In legal parlance I'm told this is "menancing behavior." He's lucky I didn't call 911 as the security guard suggested.

And then TONIGHT I was nearly killed by another SUV driver. This self-absorbed fool was making a left turn out of our apartment complex as I was crossing the street on a green light, walking in a pedestrian crosswalk. He headed straight towards me. I thought he would brake, drive to one side, or slow down, but he didn't. When his vehicle was about 3 feet from me, I yelled at him. I forget what I said -- something like, "hey~ look out!" To which he replied in a disgusted fashion (after recovering from his initial surprise), "oh, just keep walking." Well, I didn't. I made him drive around me as I gave him a piece of my mind -- most likely to no avail.

So... what's with SUV drivers anyway?

An article entitled Bumper Mentality from the Washington Monthly explains it very well. Here are some of my favorite quotes:

" ...the bigger the SUV, the more of a jerk its driver is likely to be."

"According to market research... 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. They are more restless, more sybaritic, and less social than most Americans are. They tend to like fine restaurants a lot more than off-road driving, seldom go to church and have limited interest in doing volunteer work to help others.' "

"Armed with such research, automakers have, over the past decade, ramped up their SUV designs to appeal even more to the 'reptilian' instincts of the many Americans who are attracted to SUVs not because of their perceived safety, but for their obvious aggressiveness."

"SUV drivers tend to overestimate their own security, which prompts many to drive like maniacs..."

"The "kill rate," ... for SUVs is simply jaw-dropping... Government researchers have found that a behemoth like the four-ton Chevy Tahoe kills 122 people for every 1 million models on the road; by comparison, the Honda Accord only kills 21."

Got the picture? My advise is to give SUV drivers a wide berth. Your life may depend upon it!

© 2009, Linda Mason Hood
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