Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Crossover SUVs

Panel trucks and station wagons were the precursors to the modern-day SUV. Almost every business that made regular pick-ups and/or deliveries in LTL quantities had at least one. Somewhere along the line, panel truck married station wagon, and not long after, SUV was born.

SUV stands for Sports Utility Vehicle, although I’ve never understood where “Sports” enters the equation (unless it has something to do with “soccer mom”). These ungainly contraptions are about as sporty as a comatose quadriplegic, and every bit as exciting.

Some people claim that SUV stands for Stupid Ugly Van, or Shortsighted Utopian Vision, or Silly Urban Vanity, or Supremely Unnecessary Vulgarity. My personal favorite is Seriously Unstable Vehicle, although all of the above designations seem to be equally applicable.

Now there’s something called a “crossover” SUV. Judging from the recent spate of fatal accidents involving SUVs, it’s not hard to figure out how they might have come by that label (which, I might add, is entirely appropriate).

If you’re carrying a tad too much speed on right-hand turns, they tend to cross over the centerline, where they risk smashing head-on into oncoming traffic. Again, carrying a tad too much speed on left-hand turns, they tend to cross over the fog line, where they risk smashing into a tree or running over a cliff.

Crossover, indeed!