Download High and Mighty: The Dangerous Rise of the SUV by Keith Bradsher PDF

By Keith Bradsher

SUVs have taken over America's roads. advert campaigns advertise them as more secure and "greener" than traditional vehicles and simple to deal with in undesirable climate. yet little or no in regards to the SUV's photograph is exact. They poorly guard occupants and inflict bad harm in crashes, they guzzle gas, and they're demanding to control.

Keith Bradsher has been on the vanguard in reporting the calamitous safeguard and environmental checklist of SUVs, together with the infamous Ford-Firestone rollover controversy. In excessive and effective, he lines the checkered heritage of SUVs, exhibiting how they got here to be categorised no longer as passenger automobiles yet as mild vehicles, that are topic to much less strict laws on protection, gasoline mileage, and pollution. He makes a robust case that those autos are even worse than we suspect--for their occupants, for different motorists, for pedestrians and for the planet itself.

In the culture of Unsafe at Any Speed and Fast foodstuff Nation, Bradsher's ebook is a damning exposé of an that places us all in danger, no matter if we realize it or now not.

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Sample text

It was a big win for the auto industry. "You fight for whatever you can get, and if you've got better allies on the light-duty trucks, you win those and you don't win the others—there aren't many organizations that weigh in on passenger cars," said Jim Johnston, then a senior auto-industry lobbyist. The 1975 law gave the Transportation Department broad discretion in dealing with light trucks. "2 REVIVING A CORPSE 27 The Transportation Department confronted a problem: As it drafted regulations in 1976 to implement the law, nobody had any trustworthy data on fuel economy—except for Stork at the EPA.

Because of the dispute, foreign automakers were essentially shut out of the American market for pickup trucks until the late 1990s, ensuring that pickups and their descendants, SUVs, would be the virtually exclusive fief of Detroit automakers for more than a quarter of a century. In turn, this gave Washington a powerful incentive to go easy on SUV regulations even when it got tough on car regulations, as a way to mollify Detroit automakers and the powerful United Automobile Workers (UAW) union.

But this made it harder for older people to climb in and out. Seats were mounted so low in the passenger compartments that drivers felt as though they were sitting on a cushion on the floor, with their legs out in front of them to push the pedals, instead of sitting in a comfortable, upright chair. Some car engines were hastily redesigned, but became more prone to stalling and other reliability problems, worsening Detroit's increasingly poor reputation for quality. General Motors rushed out diesel engines, which were inherently more fuel-efficient but had been so quickly and shoddily designed that they were smoky and noisy.

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