I got a phonecall this afternoon from a friend of mine who is the very proud and protective owner of a brand new BA XR8. He has not long bought this car and naturally after outlaying $50K+ for it, he likes to look after it.
So you can imagine my surprise when he tells me that his car has been written off and his wife in hopsital after a crash with a 4WD. I don't know the specifics of the crash, I don't know who was at fault, but in this case I don't think it matters.
From what he told me, the 4WD has hit his car on the passenger side, pretty much directly into the pillar in front of the front door. Because it had a bullbar, the entire side just crumpled and it was very unfortunate that his wife happened to be sitting in the passenger seat at the time this happened.
So now I am asking the question - why is it that we allow these people who live in cities (this accident occured in a residential area btw) to drive Four Wheel Drives with Bullbars? Not so long ago we had the huge debate about just how safe bullbars were when it came to pedestrians, yet it seems little has been done to address what is a very significant problem.
More often than not (in my experience at least), the majority of 4WD owners/drivers are mums who use these things to go to the shops, take the kids to school and what have you. They feel safe up above everyone else, protected by a gigantic lump of steel that is stuck to the front of the car - god help anyone or anything who might get in the way of it.
Personally I feel that is unacceptable. It seems everyone sees car loads of P platers 'dangerous', and whilst this may not be comparing apples with apples, I think inexperienced drivers who have no grasp of the limits of the vehicle they are driving are just as bad. Had my friend's car been hit just a few centimetres back, his wife would be most probably fighting for her life, as it is now she hasn't exactly walked away from the crash.
I guess it is just because my car was severely damaged by one, as well as myself being knocked out and having glass showered all over me in a crash involving a bullbarred 4WD a few weeks back, and now this happening, that I am getting really p!ssed off about these things. But seriously, regardless of who is at fault in an accident, or how it happens, the fact is that bullbars are extremely dangerous, and the majority of people I see with them have absolutely no use for a 4WD. I realise that may be a bit of a generalisation, but seriously, something has to be done about them before someone else gets hurt or dies.
back2thefutura - i think the reason y so many wives have these 4WD's is a substitute for their husbands PENIS!!!. The wives dont have anything else big in their lives, so they want a big car.
Most of the 4WD's never see and bloody dirt even. I would get more dirt on my car goin to my sisters house, then most people who drive 4WD's. If you want AWD, get a WRX or something like that. Prolly alot more safer for the people driving, and the people they may have an accident with.
They are just selfish people who only think of themselves, and not the lives of others when they have an accident with other drives!!
these people have these 4WDs because it makes themselves feel safer and gives them the sense that their kids are safer.
in victoria it is ILLEGAL to have a bullbar on any car in suburban areas UNLESS you actually live in the country and are in town for obvious reasons like shopping and what not. still makes me wonder though seeing a stationwagon TAXI in Portland with one of those hardend plastic bullbars on. (the ones that are the shape of the front of the car). Yet another law that is not enforced
They should simply ban them from suburban areas. Wont happen quickly though... Because then everyone with a 4wd (ok, maybe about 10 people legitimately have a reason to own one) sells up, no one buys them, the price of new 4wd's dives and they stop making them.... This will NEVER HAPPEN!
my main gripe is with people who use their 4WD as 'protection'. No brown nosing intended, but from what I gather you're a fairly experienced driver and you know the limitations of what you drive (at least I hope you do for when the T hits the road again). Thus I have no problem with someone like yourself owning and using a 4WD.
Now you're probably thinking 'well if I can have one why cant anyone else'. Well, while it is hard to sorta 'justify' my point in words, what I am attempting to get across is the fact that there are far more risks with a vehicle that has a bullbar on it when it comes to crashing. Sure it may be good for keeping the roos out of your engine bay, but the last time I looked there were not Kangaroos hopping around the streets of Sydney, Melbourne or Canberra, or any other city for that matter.
It is all about 'minimising risk' - that is what numerous road safety groups have tried time and time again to do - NRMA are trying to limit P platers to having 1/2 passengers of a Friday/Saturday night - why? Because in their eyes it minimises the risk of having to attend a crash scene where a carfull of them has crashed.
Therefore, in my eyes, certain people should not be allowed to own or drive a 4WD, and they should not be allowed to be driven in urban areas, simply because they are a totally different class of vehicle than your run of the mill Falcon or Commodore. If you live in the middle of a housing estate, and you dont go off road, why the hell do you need a 4WD, and what is it that youre so scared of hitting you that warrants a bullbar? A child running onto the road - well you decide, would it be easier to fix your car or tell the parents that their child is dead because you didnt want a dent?
So yes while the BA may have saved my mate's wife, what about the person in the older model of car that didnt get those millions spent on it?
2002 Focus CL Hatch
too slow..............for now
Last edited by back2thefutura; 02-07-2004 at 03:01.
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