Monday, February 6, 2017

Why do people prefer SUVs?

I don't like SUVs and pickup trucks.  They are too high and if one is in a car behind an SUV, then one's ability to look ahead for road signs, traffic, and curves in the road is severely compromised.  They also tend to be heavier, thus exhibiting poorer braking and handling in emergencies, and also consume more gas than a car.  SUVs are supposedly built to be driven off road, but most of them will never actually be taken off road.  So I started to ask myself the question as to why people prefer SUVs?

One day, I had sort of an epiphany--since the roads are so bad, so ridden with potholes and undulations, even a trip to the neighborhood grocery store feels like an off road experience.  Of course, I happen to live in CA which is a state with one of the worst road conditions.  Looking at the data in the link, I shudder with the thought of what it's like to drive in Washington DC which is reported as having 91% of its roads in poor condition.  Also, as mentioned in the article, these bad roads end up costing drivers hundreds of dollars in repairs for damaged tires, rims, and suspensions.

SUVs with their larger wheels and tires are able to better weather the pothole ridden roads, so perhaps it makes sense that people prefer them.  Their owners probably find the ride a lot more comfortable relative to a car.

The condition of the roads makes me wonder where the tax monies are going.  Around where I live, the average time between a road being repaved/repaired and new potholes showing up is no more than a few months.  It's 2017--surely the technology exists to build longer lasting roads.

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