Georgetown University professor Ted Gayer, writing in the March issue of the technical publication Journal of Risk and Uncertainty—which is edited by W. Kip Viscusi of Harvard, who is one of the nation’s leading academic conservatives—finds that having lots of SUVs and pickup trucks on the road increases total fatalities, by causing more deaths not just in regular cars but more deaths inside the SUVs and pickup trucks, too.
And just in case you don’t trust that scurrilous Gregg Easterbrook, here are a few quotes from the number two result from Google for “auto insurance rates suvs,” at esurance.com:
With larger cars on the road, drivers of small cars are at risk when they’re involved in a side-impact collision with pickups or SUVs. SUVs and pickups are generally heavier and higher riding so their bumpers can be deadly to smaller cars on impact.
Minivans don’t pose as much of a threat because they don’t weigh as much as SUVs. Their bumpers are often the same height as many smaller sized cars.
Since SUVs, minivans, and light trucks can be hard to handle and can cause more damage in the event of an auto insurance claim, auto insurance rates for these vehicles tends to be higher than for smaller cars.
If you want to know whether a vehicle is safe, ask the auto insurance companies. It’s their business to know.