By Jessica Suarez
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Thursday February 20, 2003
I was right all along. I thought SUV owners were selfish, vain and ultimately stupid people. Now I don't just have my intuition to back me up, I have science as well. Social science, yes, but science just the same. You see, a new book about SUV culture cites market research by leading car makers (those are the people who want you to buy their crap, so they wouldn't do you wrong) that confirms my suspicions.
According to this study, which appears in Keith Bradsher's (former Detroit bureau chief of the New York Times) new book, "High and Mighty: SUVs," SUV buyers tend to be: "insecure and vain. They are frequently nervous about their marriages and uncomfortable about parenthood. They often lack confidence in their driving skills. Above all, they are apt to be self-centered and self-absorbed, with little interest in their neighbors and communities."
Does that sound like you? No? "Sure," you say, while checking your reflection in your rear-view mirror, "SUVs are the territorial domain of middle-aged women (MAWs, if you will) on their way to pick up the kiddies from soccer practice. But I am a college kid with an SUV, completely outside of this stereotype. I am outdoorsy, adventurous, and spontaneous. I am different."
Well let me outline some of the completely unique and personal reasons why you probably have an SUV.
You are a sorority girl, one with like, two super cute toe rings and a lei hanging from your rear-view mirror. Your father bought your SUV for you when you went off to college, because he didn't want his little girl to drive in something unsafe or moderately priced.
You are a fraternity boy. You are an outdoorsy type, totally into roughin' it, especially, you know, driving out to the middle of nowhere, where you can get totally drunk with your friends. Nogales counts, right?
You have a huge penis. And people who drive expensive and/or huge cars always have the biggest ones. Right?
You wanted something comfortable to drive all the way from your on-campus Greek house or on-campus dormitory to the university.
You wanted to drive something huge and tough to attach your bullhorn to, so you and your totally awesome bros could drive around campus and use it to call people "fags" and to yell at girls, because that is what cool guys who aren't gay at all and who could get any girl they want, do.
After all, SUVs are marketed and designed to look like animals, to blind oncoming drivers with their headlights, and to give you a safe place to yell "Hey, faggot!" from behind dark-tinted windows. In short, SUVs are marketed toward the rich and stupid, like people who pay lots of money to instantly have friends and live in a house with other men and hit them bare-assed with a piece of wood. Which, by the way, isn't homoerotic at all. Is that why they call it the Greek system?
You have good friends who are terrorists, and consuming as much fuel as possible and sending oil money their way is just what friends do for other friends. By the way, according to the New Republic, America gives $20 billion annually to Saudi Arabia and other oil-producing Middle Eastern countries. Ten billion more goes to Iraq and Saddam Hussein. If he wasn't so busy killing kids and getting ready to drop chemical weapons on U.S. troops, he'd probably give you a high five, bra.
Maybe you got an SUV because you are looking forward to the day when you can be in a car accident, so while the other driver snaps their stupid neck on your front grill as it coasts through their dangerously-low-to-the-ground front windshield, your SUV can glide gracefully over the hood of their car, your lithe and deeply tanned body intact, thus proving that SUVs are very safe.
But that's why you got an SUV right? Not because you're vain, stupid, selfish, fuel consumption-loving, big-dicked or looking to kill anyone. Safety first.
In fact, safety is the number one reason why people claim to want an SUV. But the same article I cited earlier also found that for every one life saved by driving an SUV, five others will be taken, and it's almost guaranteed that all five will be in the other car. Also, in a regular accident where one car sideswipes another, the victim is 6.6 times as likely to die as the person who caused the accident, which is ironic, and sad. Things get worse when the accident is caused by an SUV. The chance of dying in an accident when you are hit by an SUV goes up 30 to 1. So sure, maybe it's safer for you, if you don't mind murdering other people.
But there is hope for the rest of us in our tiny, fuel-efficient pieces of shit we call cars. You see, despite what you've been fed about the safety of SUVs, the occupant death rate in SUVs is 6 percent higher than it is for regular cars and it's 8 percent higher in the largest SUVs. SUV drivers are also less likely to wear seatbelts than the rest of the driving population, thus causing more fatalities in rollover accidents. And if SUVs are good for anything, oh boy, it's rollovers.
I just hope we're lucky enough to have your SUV kill you before it kills anyone else. Specifically, me.