The Myth of SUV Safety

They might not tumble and roll like a carnival ride, but don't trust in SUV safety to get your children from one place to another.
By John Rockhold
October/November 2006
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Thanks to their excessive weight, SUV safety is vastly overrated.
Illustration by Fotolia/thomas222


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SUV safety is a lot less than it’s cracked up to be, contrary to popular belief. Children in sport utility vehicles (SUVs) are no better off than those in traditional passenger cars. A recent study from the journal Pediatrics found that SUVs’ higher risk of rollover accidents offsets any potential benefit from their large size. SUVs are twice as likely as passenger cars to roll over.

According to Joel Swisher, managing director, research and consulting at Rocky Mountain Institute, “Size equals safety, but weight does not. Heavy SUVs increase accident risk. Minivans are big, but not especially heavy. That’s why they are among the safest vehicles on the road.”


John Rockhold is a green car enthusiast and Contributing Editor for MOTHER EARTH NEWS. Find him on Google+.








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