From Library Journal
Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs) have become the fastest-growing market segment in the automobile industry. They have an image of being safer and easier to handle in bad weather than traditional passenger cars. But in this new expos , New York Times reporter Bradsher delivers sobering facts about the conveyances: they protect occupants poorly, inflict horrific damage in crashes, guzzle gasoline, spew emissions, and are, in fact, difficult to control in bad weather or panic situations. He traces the checkered past of SUVs and how they came to be classified not as cars but as light trucks, which are subject to softer federal regulations regarding safety, gas mileage, and air pollution. The recent recall of tires and SUVs by Ford and Firestone after scores of roll-over deaths is apparently only the tip of the iceberg. Bradsher makes a powerful case that SUVs are inflicting great damage on their occupants, other motorists, pedestrians, and the earth. While the information has been available for some time in bits and pieces, this book is the first to put it all together with documented facts and figures. In the tradition of Ralph Nader's Unsafe at Any Speed, this should be read by drivers of SUVs and all those who must share the roads with them.Eric C. Shoaf, Brown Univ. Lib., Providence
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
The behemoths among autos, SUVs are dangerous gas-guzzlers exempted from the safety and environmental rules that apply to other autos because they are classified as light trucks. Bradsher, an award-winning journalist who reported on the Ford-Firestone rollover controversy, details how SUVs came to enjoy such protection and such enormous popularity. From its precursor in the 1930s, favored by the funeral business, through the twist of fate that saw trade protection for frozen chickens morph into protection of SUV manufacturers, to the irony that the baby boom generation that championed environmental safety is also responsible for the huge popularity of the SUV, Bradsher offers compelling reading. The author interviewed the auto executives and engineers behind the SUV and documents the danger to occupants, other motorists, pedestrians, and the environment of a car model that continues to grow in size and heft. This fascinating history and troubling analysis of both the politics and the design of the SUV should appeal to readers on both sides of the debate. Vanessa BushCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved