Are SUVs safe?

You know those big cars called SUVs or 4WDs. They´re a bit like trucks and they´re designed to drive off-road, in mud. We mostly see them being driven on suburban streets though, to pick the kids up from school or shop for groceries.

They feel really safe to be in. You are sitting up high and can see the road. There´s a lot of space around you so you don´t feel crowded by the other cars. You can see everything on your way to the Science Fair!

But are they really safe?

Unfortunately, no.

SUVs have a high center of gravity. This means that a lot of their weight sits higher than other cars. When you take them out of their Stable Equilibrium Zone (when you drive them really fast and try to tip them over), they roll much more often than a normal car. You can demonstrate this principle at your next Science Fair if you like.

They´re also a lot heavier. This increases their braking distance and means they are harder to turn. Try to imagine two animals that are about the same size – but one is much heavier than the other. Like a horse and a rhino. If they were both running and had to turn quickly to avoid something, which one do you think would do better?

The lesson: Don´t drive a rhino!

PS: It´s Science Fair season again and you might like to read the best way to win one!

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.