Where real moms tell it like it is.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Red Rover, Red Rover

SUVs roll over. So says a study published in the medical journal Pediatrics and sponsored by Children's Hospital of Philadelphia in collaboration with State Farm Insurance.

According to the study, parents ought to rethink the notion that SUVs ensconce their kids in a protective steel cocoon. Although there are obvious advantages in the greater mass of the hulking autos, there is a doubled risk of rollover--which virtually negates the safety edge.

I have long noticed, when driving in the Sierra or Rocky Mountains in inclement weather, that the roadside ditches become littered with overturned SUVs. I always chalked it up to irresponsible advertising: TV ads for SUVs invariably show the machines tearing over virgin landscapes like monster trucks on steroids. I figured that SUV owners must have internalized the balls-to-the-wall sense of indomitability the ads portray because they would drive like frickin' maniacs on icy roads in driving snow, oblivious to physics.

Over time, research continues to fill in the picture. A couple of years back, NYT reporter Keith Bradsher published a book– "High and Mighty" – that dug into the safety stats. For a taste, go here. You'll never believe the hype about SUV safety again.

One of the more unusual facts: There's a curiously high incidence of SUV drivers backing over their own children.


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