Previously, previously, previously, previously, previously, previously.
Nowadays, an SUV is a "normal car"...
Now, I'm someone who hates this whole "Simpsons predicted..." thing because when the show was top-notch, it held an hilarious funhouse mirror up to the US. It didn't "predict" anything; it just lampooned what was happening then, and we're realising that the same shit is still happening.
To wit: if you weren't around for the mid-'90s rise of SUVs, it's be easy to think that their prominence today is due to auto-makers intentionally trying to create the Canyonero:
The Canyonero looks quite svelte next to modern SUVs. At least we got those instead of this:
Thanks for giving me another reason to hate these things. I can't really understand how car companies managed to sell these to the European public, they can barely drive them here...
Particularly appropriate that this thing has been put up in Cornwall, which is made entirely of really tiny roads, and delightfully combines being an extremely poor area (at some point it was the second-poorest region in northern Europe, and brexit will not have made this better) with a huge annual invasion of rich sociopathic fucks ('emmets') in their bloated carbon-vomiting death-wagons to visit the pretty seaside and eat the nice ice-cream, leaving a trail of filth and crushed children in their wake. Even before the plague these people were buying up second homes and driving out actual Cornish people: I hate to think what will be happening now..
I used to think that the economy would apply back pressure by driving up insurance rates of dangerous vehicles like this. But, no, the invisible hand of the market never came to the rescue.
The reason is a complex network of complacency and blame that prevents us from penalizing drivers who kill. Instead of holding drivers accountable for easily preventable injury and death, we instead blame the victims for bolting out into traffic, not being visible enough, or insignificant infractions of pedestrian behavior. Survivor bias guarantees that the driver’s story will be heard. The victim may be knocked out or worse, unable to explain their version of events. And if shifting the blame to the victim isn’t good enough there’s a whole array of arguments that blame Mother Nature for shining the sun at an unfortunate angle.
Given how unlikely a jury of drivers will find one of their own guilty (every juror thinks they could be next in the defendants seat. What sort of precedent will they deliver?) what can be done to break down this cycle of auto-absolution? Some ideas are political bravery to change laws blocking default victim blaming and minting a new round of non-drivers to tilt the juries. That is happening very slowly and powerful business interests behind the status quo are resisting.
Oh won't somebody PLEASE think of the childre... oh no wait, sorry. The car companies need our support now more than ever!
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