What is it about the people who drive those great big, gas guzzling SUVs?
I don’t know what your personal experience has been, but in the little slice of suburban heaven that I call home, there seems to be a principle at work that goes something like this:
“The larger the automobile, the less likely that the driver will pay any attention to other vehicles on the road.”
It happens to be the type of car that I lusted after when I was 18 years old, but I had to delay the satisfaction of that particular automotive craving until I was closer to 50. I’ve been driving it for over 10 years now, so I’ll admit to being somewhat biased since I’m used to a smaller vehicular footprint than most drivers.
The largest vehicle that we, as a family, ever owned was a Chrysler minivan. Don’t ask me why we ever bought one. It just seemed like the thing to do during the 80’s if you had two young boys, so we drank the Kool-Aid too.
The automobiles that I’m talking about are the ones which probably are required to pull into those truck weigh stations when they are driving out on the interstate highways. The Chevy Suburban, Tahoe, and the Ford Expedition are the best examples that come to mind.
When you’re at the dealership signing the final papers for one of these monsters, I wonder if the salesman quietly slips you a manual under the table that lists the special and confidential “Rules of the Road for SUV Drivers“?
If not, where do the drivers of these vehicles learn:
- You are permitted to merge into any lane, to the right or to the left, regardless of whether another vehicle occupies that space.
- You are relieved of the responsibility of coming to a complete stop before making a right turn at a stop sign or traffic signal, regardless of whether another vehicle is already passing through that intersection.
- You are permitted to continue through any red light so long as you do so within 10 seconds of it having turned red.
- You are a very special person and thereby granted right-of-way over any, and all, other vehicles on the road; regardless of the circumstances.
I’m sure that there are more of these rules, but those are the ones which I see applied with amazing consistency by SUV drivers.
I think I’ve also identified another axiom which applies to the drivers of these mondo-land barges.
There appears to be an inverse relationship between the physical size of the individual operating the SUV and the amount of attention which they pay to any other drivers who may be attempting to share the use of the roads with them.
Case in point, when I see a minuscule woman behind the wheel of a Suburban or Tahoe, I generally attempt to find a convenient parking lot to pull into until she and her vehicle are well out of sight.
If I notice that the petit woman driving the monster truck bearing down on me happens to be wearing a skimpy tennis outfit, I simply drive on to the shoulder immediately until the crisis has passed.
Sometimes it’s best to simply concede and live to drive another day.