The Sport Utility Vehicle: Automobile Incarnation Of Irresponsibility

1979 words - 8 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, which are federally classified as light trucks, are "a proven threat to smaller vehicles" (Mahoney, sc. 1). Car passengers account for 80 percent of the deaths that result from the collisions of cars and light trucks. Incredibly enough, in the name of "safety," Ford Excursions have been installed with "Blockerbeams," bars beneath their front bumpers that prevent them from riding over smaller cars in head-on collisions (Welch, sc. 1). The mere fact that such an apparatus is necessary suggests that SUVs pose unnecessary safety threats to other drivers. Furthermore, because they threaten other vehicles, they raise a question of corporate responsibility. Is it ethical to drive a vehicle that so blatantly endangers others?

SUVs may easily survive front-side collisions, but they are not free of safety risks. Though they contain safety systems such as antilock brakes, independent suspensions, and computerized monitoring systems (Gibney, sc. 1), they also have narrow tracks, soft suspension, and a high centers of gravity. Such qualities make them unstable enough that they require a "High Rollover Risk" warning brand from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). According to NHTSA...

Find Another Essay On The Sport Utility Vehicle: Automobile Incarnation of Irresponsibility

The Incarnation of the Theory of Tragedy in Oedipus Rex

993 words - 4 pages ground on which the theory of tragedy is based. Actually Aristotle lays the foundations for the critical study of drama in his Poetics by drawing on Sophocles' plays most of the time, especially on Oedipus Rex. It is a fact clearly evident from this contextual standpoint that Oedipus Rex and consequently Oedipus, the hero of the play, serve as the most original incarnation--typical example--of the theory of tragedy. So the point now is whether or

Comparing the Utility of Bentham and Mill

2032 words - 8 pages Comparing the Utility of Bentham and Mill utility \U*til"i*ty\, n. [OE. utilite, F. utilit['e], L. utilitas, fr. utilis useful. See Utile.] … 3. Happiness; the greatest good, or happiness, of the greatest number, -- the foundation of utilitarianism. --J. S. Mill. Syn: Usefulness; advantageous; benefit; profit; avail; service. ( One of the major players in ethical theories has long been the concept of

Utility of the Jamaican Court Structure

855 words - 3 pages Assignment: In no more than two to three pages, explain the utility of the Jamaican court system.The Jamaican Common Law system of jurisprudence has been adopted from English Common Law which is based on the doctrine of judicial precedent, the principle of which the lower courts must follow the decisions of the higher courts, rather than on statutory laws. Such a system originates from the doctrine of stare decisis et non quieta mover meaning

The Morality and Utility of Artificial Intelligence

4503 words - 18 pages The Morality and Utility of Artificial Intelligence Douglas R. Hofstadter, in his work Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid, remarks that one may contend that Artificial Intelligence is born of a machine’s ability to perform any task that had been previously confined to the domain of humans (601). However, a few sentences later, the author explains Tessler’s “Theorem” of progress in AI: “once some mental function is programmed

The Rise of the Automobile

1855 words - 7 pages the sport-utility vehicle (SUV) category." (Fetherston)Today you can buy vehicles that have all kind of devices, cd players, sunroofs, power seats, heated seats, even DVD players with monitors in the headrests. The automobile has come a long way from where it started and has made some people millions of dollars. Although there have been many positive outcomes from the invention of automobiles, there is some negative effects also.The huge use of

The Invention of the Automobile

2169 words - 9 pages belt because here we go.....The automobile as we know it was not invented in a single day by a single inventor. The history of the automobile took place worldwide, from 1769-1950's (approximate) It is estimated that over 100,000 patents created the modern automobile. However, there are many "starters" that started the process. The first theoretical plans for a motor vehicle have been drawn up by both Leonardo da Vinci and Isaac Newton. In 1769

The History of the Automobile

1077 words - 4 pages firms that would turn out a few cars by means of precise engineering and handicraft methods. The American automobile plants were assembly line operations, which meant using parts made by independent suppliers and putting them together at the plant. In the early 1900's, the United States had about 2,000 firms producing one or more cars. By 1920 the number of firms had decreased to about 100 and by 1929 to 44. In 1976 the Motor Vehicle Manufacturers

The Evolution of the Automobile

3579 words - 14 pages in 1899. The company was founded by three brothers. They introduced their first automobile 1902. It was a 3-speed, chain-driven vehicle powered by a 12 horsepower, one-cylinder engine. The Packard was considered the number one leader in the American luxury car market in the 1920's. While the Ford Model T was selling for around $440.00, a Packard demanded a much higher price of around $2,600. This showed its position in the luxury market, not only

The History of the Automobile

1974 words - 8 pages - however did not have these restrictions. The first gasoline powered vehicle was not built until the 1860's, and gasoline automobiles were not commercially produced until the late 1890s. Selden did not receive his patent for the internal combustion engine until 1895, and it was this patent that had a profound revolutionary effect on the up and coming automobile industry. Charles and J. Frank Duryea were the most notable of the pioneers of the

The Physics of Automobile Accidents

585 words - 2 pages The Physics of Automobile Accidents Automobile accidents happen all around us. We see cars in the middle of the road after just rear ending each other. We see cars driving around town with big dents in them. Do you ever stop to wonder how car accidents happen? Physics; that’s how they happen. There are several aspects of physics that apply to automobile accidents. An aspect of physics that is applicable to automobile accidents is

Harmful Aspects of The Automobile

1148 words - 5 pages Harmful Aspects of The Automobile Air pollution refers to the presence of foreign substances in the atmosphere. Air pollution is a problem in countries where urban and population growth have been accompanied by the use of the automobile. Smog, carbon monoxide, and acid rain, are only a few of these foreign substances in the atmosphere. The negative effects these poisons have upon the environment and the human body are astronomical

Similar Essays

The Incarnation Of Jesus Christ Essay

1224 words - 5 pages bible also tells people who are self centered that they will never have the ability to please God. Also, being self centered is technically a sin because being self centered often leads to being devoted to self-gratification and overlooking other peoples needs. The incarnation of God in human form meant that people were able to tell Jesus was God. God came down to earth to save us from original sin. But the question that we all ask ourselves is

The Central Mystery Of Chritmas: The Incarnation

1662 words - 7 pages The Christmas holiday cannot properly be understood or recognized without an understanding of what holds true to its central mystery: The Incarnation. This Christian doctrine is important to Christianity because without the knowledge of both who Jesus Christ is and, why we need Jesus Christ, there cannot be a complete understanding of the gospel or means to salvation. Portrayed in the first gospel is evidence of the importance of knowing who

Concept Of The Automobile Essay

646 words - 3 pages vehicle consisted of sport utility vehicles (SUV's), or mini-vans. Today we see these as the norm. Re-introduced into today's auto market were vehicles reminiscent of days gone by such as the PT Cruiser and the Volkswagen Beetle. Originally these vehicles were popular back in the 60's.Some of today's vehicles have been engineered to use alternate types of fuel such as electricity and solar power. They've added high-tech options like global

History Of The Electric Vehicle Essay

1600 words - 6 pages History of the Electric Vehicle The History of Development: In general the automobile was invented to transport people. Horses were the main mode of transportation and a self powered vehicle seemed to offer many benefits. We have looked at the automobile history and seen how this innovation occurred. The United States in the 19th century had been developing a very successful metal-working industry, which included firearms, sewing