Sunday, July 13, 2008

Civilian Hummers: a very bad historical accident

The funniest thing about this is that a commenter in Matt's comments section suggests that maybe the reason people buy big SUVs is that they think they will be better-protected by them in an accident.

Maybe, and maybe they are safe vehicles (not that I've heard of, though) but if all those people were so interested in safety, why didn't we see a huge trend of people buying little Volvos? Those are the safest cars by a longshot, as far as I've ever heard. Seems to me people who buy SUVs are more like selfish jackass types, and having a big car gives them a power trip-- so it's probably more about hoping you make other drivers on the road feel like the Hummer would do a lot of damage to their cars in a collision, than it is about guaranteeing your life. Why don't all the macho and neanderthal-sized drivers the WaPo writer references duck into safe, fuel-efficient European cars all the time? Probably the look of those cars doesn't aid the self-delusions that they use to make up for their personal failings and deficiencies enough.

Here's what I wrote in Matt's comments:

What is he saying? You need to be a certain height to drive a certain car? Doesn't make sense to me. You'd have to be pretty short to have a lot of trouble stepping into an SUV.

Why doesn't he think the 6' 4" guy is driving it to boost his self-esteem-- like maybe because the 6' 4" guy is stupid and driving a big car is the only way to make himself feel like he's an impressive, successful person?

People as big as Arnold Schwarzenegger seem to be for the most part less smart, and examples who become wildly successful (like Arnold and Jesse Ventura) seem to be the very few exceptions.

Sorry, the Hummer isn't any different a status symbol than any other expensive car-- except that it's a ridiculous waste of money / gas, so that when the decision to buy a status-symbol type car is a bad one for a particular person to make, if it's a Hummer that's bought, it's extra bad.