Are you safer in a car or SUV?

Safety is something many people consider when deciding which vehicle to buy. In addition to buying a car that looks stylish with quality features, people want to feel safe while driving.

You are safer in an SUV than in a car when it comes to a head-on collision with a smaller vehicle. But SUVs might not withstand the impact of bigger vehicles and they are more likely to roll over. Though cars suffer more in frontal crashes, they are equipped with some safety features that many SUVs don’t have.

SUVs are generally safe

SUVs are large-sized vehicles. In the event an SUV collides with a smaller vehicle, chances are, its occupants will survive. It’s a natural rule that during an impact, the smaller car always suffers more. But SUVs can be more dangerous than you might imagine.

SUVs are prone to rollovers

SUVs don’t come equipped with many of the safety features that smaller cars have. And their height makes them prone to rollovers. So, in the event they survive a frontal impact, they may still end up rolling over.

There is something called electronic stability control in most cars. The ESC helps stabilize a car when it loses control, but it is often not found in SUVs.

Since SUVs are heavy, they carry a lot of gravity when in motion. The problem comes when they lose control, and there is nothing to bring the vehicle back under control. This can easily result in a rollover. So, while you might be feeling extremely safe inside the mighty SUV, you may not escape rollovers.

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Other reasons why SUVs might be dangerous

They create danger for other drivers

It seems as if SUVs are built to protect just their occupants, while compromising the safety of other road users. This shouldn’t be a safety standard for vehicles. In the event of an accident, pedestrians and smaller vehicles can greatly suffer from impact with big SUVs.

Secondly, owners of SUVs often feel too safe inside their high horse that they are not risk-conscious. This can create dangerous situations for others on the road. Their accidents are often catastrophic. So, most times, even if they survive, others road users suffer.

They have large blind spots

Larger vehicles have larger blind spots, and SUVs are no exception. These blind spots make it easy for SUVs to hit other vehicles, which is a reason why cars shouldn’t drive too closely to SUVs. If you are too close, they might end up hitting you. Even with their tall height, it still doesn’t eliminate the blind spots.

They are no match for larger vehicles

There are many SUVs and other larger vehicles on the road. So even if the occupants of an SUV are safe when it collides with a small car, what about bigger vehicles? Most SUVs do not have safety features to withstand an impact with more oversized vehicles.

SUVs have high maintenance costs

SUVs are more expensive to maintain. As you already know, SUVs are big vehicles. Larger vehicles with bigger engines are known to use up more gas than smaller cars. And as such, you will probably end up spending much more on gas than you can imagine. Also, note that the more gas they burn, the more harmful gases spew into the atmosphere.

The heavier a vehicle, the higher the chances of its tires wearing out quickly. The weight of an SUV, together with its occupants, strains the tires. So, you may find yourself changing tires sooner than you think.

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Overall, the components of larger vehicles are always expensive. And therefore, pricey repairs and maintenance will negatively affect your pocket.

Cars are also safe and more manageable to maintain

While smaller cars will suffer more in a frontal collision, they come with many safety features. These safety features help them keep the car under control and make them easy to maneuver, which is one of the many things that SUVs lack.

A car will also not consume gas like an SUV, which means fewer visits to the gas station. And they will naturally not emit as many gases as an SUV.  Tires, too, won’t get worn so easily like an SUV, due to less weight. Overall, the cost of maintaining a car is usually cheaper than an SUV.

Differences between SUVs and cars

  • SUVs do not come equipped with safety features to keep road users safe. Cars, on the other hand, are equipped with lots of safety features that help keep the vehicle under control, keeping both the car occupants and other road users safe.
  • Cars will suffer more in a frontal collision than SUVs.
  • SUVs have a higher driving position, while cars have a low driving position, making cars feel the impact more.
  • Most SUVs are “selfish” cars. They were made to protect only their occupants. In contrast, cars take both occupants and road users into consideration
  • SUVs have higher towing capacity than cars.

Some tips for driving safely

There is a famous saying that goes, “prevention is better than a cure.” So, whether you’re driving a safely equipped car or a big SUV meant to protect the occupants, follow these driving rules. They will help in keeping you and other road users safe.

  • There are rules to driving on the road; learn and follow them.
  • Avoid any form of distraction, like using your smartphone.
  • There are other drivers on the road. Watch closely and respond to stops.
  • Plan to drive safe by putting seats in position, adjusting side mirrors and other control features before you hit the road. Ensure all safety features are working properly.
  • Put on your seatbelts. This prevents occupants from falling out of the vehicle during an impact.
  • Don’t drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • Make sure you are alert and not at risk for falling asleep.
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FAQs

Are SUVs safer than cars?

SUVs are only safer when there is a head-on collision. Reports say occupants in an SUV are more likely to survive in a frontal collision than car occupants involved in head-on collisions. However, SUVs lack safety features that can help keep vehicles under control in case a driver loses control.

Which should I buy? A car or SUV?

SUVs are prone to minor damage in crashes compared to cars. However, cars have many safety features to keep drivers and other road users safe. So, which to buy depends on what you place priority on as far as safety is concerned and what your other needs are.

It is a good idea to go for a vehicle with the latest safety features. If there are SUVs equipped with the same safety features that cars have, then they are a good option. That said, whatever choice you make, any vehicle will be most safe to drive with a safe approach to driving. Check the safety tips above.

What are blind spots in vehicles?

Blind spots are places where the driver can’t see when driving, even with the rearview or side mirrors. Large blind spots are common in big vehicles. This is why drivers are advised to give extra space from other vehicles on the road.

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    Osuagwu Solomon

    When I am not writing about cars, I’m in a mechanic garage troubleshooting and fixing cars. I started writing automotive articles to provide accurate information to car owners and fellow mechanics.

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