Keith Bradsher. High and Mighty: The Dangerous Rise of the SUV. NY: Public Affairs, 2003.

Note: The following are notes from the above book. I found the book seminal, eye-opening, life-changing. I recommend that you buy and read the entire book. Only by reading the entire book will you get the whole picture. The following quotes, I hope, will whet your appetite. --Colby Glass

Keith Bradsher. High and Mighty: The Dangerous Rise of the SUV. NY: Public Affairs, 2003.

"...self-regarding urban and suburban consumers who care not a whit that by driving such menacing and wasteful machines they are committing a horrendously antisocial act" (from Atlantic Monthly).

"...his book is banned in Michigan. It isn't so much that the average SUV is underengineered, inept, unsafe, polluting, fuel-guzzling and sociopathically aggressive... as that it's so knowingly, cynically, avoidably so" (from the New York Times Book Review).

"For the truly self-centered person who cares nothing about hurting other people in crashes, obscuring other drivers' views of the road, making smog worse and contributing to global warming... such drivers need to be aware that they are not improving their own safety, and must endure the aggravation of driving a vehicle that is harder to drive and harder to park than a car" (449).

"A midsize SUV puts out roughly 50 percent more carbon dioxide per mile than the typical car, while a full-size SUV may emit twice as much" (xvii).

"...the replacement of cars with SUVs is currently causing close to 3,000 needless deaths a year in the United States" (xvii).

"SUVs are the world's most dangerous vehicles... inferior to cars in safety, pollution, comfort and driving performance... It is becoming harder and harder to see down the road while sitting in a car, because of the impossibility of seeing through the tall SUVs, minivans and pickups ahead in traffic. At night, the glare from SUV headlights is blinding to car drivers. Banking a car out of a parking place between two taller vehicles has become an exercise in hope that no one is about to come barrelling by. The sheer size and menacing appearance of SUVs inevitably make car owners feel less safe" (xviii-xix).

"...the Escalade can be a hard vehicle to control even for an experienced driver. The steering is sluggish, the suspension vague, and the brakes not as effective as car brakes... has the nimbleness and ride quality of a pig on stilts...

"Cadillac... rushed the Escalade onto the market in 1998... essentially taking a $20,000 work truck, tricking it up with lots of chrome, leather seats, and a fancy stereo, and selling it for close to $50,000. This is how automakers have earned enormous profits on full-sized SUVs... American remain enamored of big, macho vehicles..." (xx-xxi).

"...describing SUV buyers as insecure, vain, frequently nervous about their marriages, and uncomfortable about parenthood... that's the auto industry's own market researchers and executives [speaking]" (432).

"The Sierra Club had long been the most active group opposing SUVs, coming up with imaginative and amusing campaigns such as the web site that poked fun at Hummers and the people who drive them" (434).

"..she was wearing her belt and the air bag inflated. But these were not enough to save her [life] when the SUV drove right over the hood of her car... "The theory that I'm going to protect myself and my family even if it costs other people's lives has been the operative incentive for the design of these vehicles..." (437).

"...Allstate is now marking up [insurance] premiums by as much as 45 percent for the most dangerous [SUV] models, and offering discounts of up to 27 percent for cars that inflict the least harm..." (441).

Colby Glass, MLIS