Posted By Lee Spain
Here are some ways that I've been more efficient than many car owners as an SUV owner -
* I've walked to the bus stop.
* I've driven a short distance to a park-n-ride.
* I've left the SUV parked and taken the smaller car to work.
* I've car-pooled.
* We've supplemented the SUV with a economy car.
In addition, there are several cases where an SUV can be justified -
1) Large Family - You just can't move a family of 6 or 7 in a small car.
2) Severe Weather - In some places, 4-wheel drive and high ground clearance are very useful.
3) Special Recreation Needs - An SUV can be useful for hauling a really big telescope, a sail boat, or other hobby equipment.
4) Tall person. Even at 6'2", I find that many small or midsized cars are a squeeze and that the ergonomics can be dangerous (i.e. low hanging rearview mirrors). At 6'4" my dad has trouble finding a comfortable car.
People are trying to balance a variety of needs when buying a vehicle. Literature from my insurance company shows that SUV injury claims are far less than injury claims for smaller cars. People act out a lot of crazy emotional crap on the road. In some cases, driving the smaller car has forced me to change my driving route simply because people drive very aggressively where I live. While we generally drive about in the small car and leave the SUV for special circumstances.
We often take the SUV when the roads are wet or when we suspect the drunks are out. As people switch to small cars, I suspect that highway deaths will increase significantly.