SUVs have taken over America's roads. Ad campaigns promote them as safer and "greener" than ordinary cars and easy to handle in bad weather. But very little about the SUV's image is accurate. They poorly protect occupants and inflict horrific damage in crashes, they guzzle gasoline, and they are hard to control.
Keith Bradsher has been at the forefront in reporting the calamitous safety and environmental record of SUVs, including the notorious Ford-Firestone rollover controversy. In High and Mighty, he traces the checkered history of SUVs, showing how they came to be classified not as passenger cars but as light trucks, which are subject to less strict regulations on safety, gas mileage, and air pollution. He makes a powerful case that these vehicles are even worse than we suspect--for their occupants, for other motorists, for pedestrians and for the planet itself.
In the tradition of Unsafe at Any Speed and Fast Food Nation, Bradsher's book is a damning exposé of an industry that puts us all at risk, whether we recognize it or not.
Sport utility vehicles have taken over America's roads during the last decade, and are on their way to taking over the world's roads. The four-wheel-drive vehicles offer a romantic vision of outdoor adventure to deskbound baby boomers. The larger models provide lots of room for families and their gear. Their size gives them an image of safety. The popularity of SUVs has revived the economy of the upper Midwest and has helped power the American economy since the early 1990s.
Yet the proliferation of SUVs has created huge problems. Their safe image is an illusion. They roll over too easily, killing and injuring occupants at an alarming rate, and they are dangerous to other road users, inflicting catastrophic damage to cars that they hit and posing a lethal threat to pedestrians. Their "green" image is also a mirage, because they contribute far more than cars to smog and global warming. Their gas-guzzling designs increase American dependence on imported oil at a...
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