The Sport Utility Vehicle: Automobile Incarnation of Irresponsibility

1743 Words7 Pages
The Sport Utility Vehicle: Automobile Incarnation of Irresponsibility Drive down any city street in Portland, Oregon, and you will instantly be surrounded by massive, gas-guzzling sport utility vehicles (SUVs). They will block your view of traffic, claim more than their share of street parking space, and intimidate you with their monstrous size. And ironically, though their tires have been manufactured to crash over only the roughest of terrains, these SUVs will almost exclusively remain on paved city streets, serving as passenger vehicles for posh urbanites who enjoy the rugged ambiance their monstrous automobiles emanate. True, sport utility vehicles succeed in enveloping their owners in an aura of ruggedness. Their brute size alone makes them a symbol of power that fits well within America's obsession for independence and that seems to suggest, as editorialist Erin Mahoney writes, that "the bigger a vehicle, the better protected its occupants" (sc. 1). Yet while the SUV's image of commanding might and size-based safety is appealing to many, SUVs are less favorable than they seem. They pose legitimate safety and environmental concerns that put humans and nature at risk. Also, because the features they sport are often unnecessary, considering the needs of their owners, SUVs contribute to excess materialism within U.S. culture. Therefore, despite their booming popularity, the features and images attached to SUVs make them one of the more irresponsible automobile choices on the market. It is understandable that SUV owners feel safe inside their vehicles. After all, most things traveling down the road cannot harm a 2-ton Chevy Blazer or a 3.5-ton Ford Excursion. Yet these massive SUVs, whi... ... middle of paper ... ... Memmer, Scott. "Roll Over Beethoven (and Explorer, and Suburban, and…)." 2001. Edmunds.com. 20 March 2001. <http://www.edmunds.com/edweb/editorial/ features/rolloverbeethovenandexplorerandsuburban/43006/index.html>. Muller, Joann and David Welch. "Making Safer SUVs: It's Not Rocket Science." Business Week 16 Oct. 2000: 51. Academic Search Elite. Palni Site Search. Goshen College Good Library. 4 March 2001. Thompson, Barry. "Green Cars vs. Greed Cars." Earth Island Journal. Autumn 2000: 39. Academic Search Elite. Palni Site Search. Goshen College Good Library. 4 March 2001. Welch, David. "It Isn't Easy Going Green Alone." Business Week 29 May 2000: 54. Academic Search Elite. Palni Site Search. Goshen College Good Library. 4 March 2001.

    More about The Sport Utility Vehicle: Automobile Incarnation of Irresponsibility

      Open Document