Benny's World

Friday, September 16, 2005

Poll: 8 in 10 Want Drivers to Drop SUVs

Recently a girlfriend sent me some cartoons about gas prices. Some of them were funny. But here was my overall response back to her:

In reality, I'm probably one of the few around my neighborhood who is not unhappy with gasoline prices. With no energy plan to address the problem (only more tax cuts for the oil companies in the latest bill signed a month ago), knowing that India and China are competing with us on energy consumption, gasoline prices were going to go beyond the roof. The reason we don't worry: hubby and I drive our Toyota Prius most of the time, which gets around 47-50 mpg in the summer; about 37 in the winter.

In general, car companies don't seem to get it either, which is make very affordable hybrids in SUV format (with double electric batteries for extra power), since the majority of parents in our country prefer SUV's for their comfort and to carry half of their house around to keep their kids constantly entertained. It's too bad that regular cars aren't perceived as good enough for the average family of 4 anymore, as it was when I was growing up, but times have changed. Hubby has a SUV as you may know, but he doesn't complain about the prices either; he's learned to drive it less and take the bus sometimes.

However, I do feel sorry for poor people who can only afford gas guzzlers that are old, and they have to pay more to commute to work or get to a emergency room (since most are dependent on medicaid for health insurance). I also feel sorry for poor and those squeezed financially because all products will go up in price, due to increased transportation costs. Some folks have opted to eat less or do without other things because of gas prices.


I discussed this at home with hubby, and he thought I was being too hard on her, especially being critical about SUV's being the comfort car of today. Then I saw this poll early this morning from the AP via Yahoo:


By WILL LESTER, Associated Press Writer
Thu Sep 15, 2:58 PM ET



WASHINGTON - Eight in 10 people say it's important for Americans now driving sport utility vehicles to switch to more fuel-efficient vehicles to reduce the nation's dependence on oil, a poll found.


With gas prices hovering around $3 a gallon nationally and the price of natural gas rising sharply, six in 10 said they are not confident President Bush is taking the right approach to solving the nation's energy problems, according to the survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press.


Then the poll indicated some other preferences that were definitely not mine except:

_want more spending on subway, rail and bus systems.

_Just over eight in 10 want higher fuel efficiency required for cars, trucks and SUVs.

Only four in 10 wanted to promote the increased use of nuclear power, while slightly more than half opposed that step.
The Pew poll of 1,523 adults was taken Sept. 8-11 and has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

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Nonetheless, I stand by the SUV comment. The only thing I will say is that while SUVs are useful for hauling around bunches of kids and dogs, as well as hardware products, I see a lot of teens driving their parent's SUVs and wasting gas big time. I think it's time to shift the focus back to cars--and smaller ones at that.

2 Comments:

  • The problem: in my family there are two adults, two kids and three dogs that often have a need to travel together for long distances. One of the dogs is a yellow Lab. If we don't drive and SUV or something similar (currently have a Buick Rendezvous) we'd have to take two vehicles- and that doesn't solve anything!

    Automakers need to work on an affordable hybrid SUV.

    MBTankersley

    By Blogger Tank in Texas, at 5:28 PM  

  • I think one SUV for a multi-car family is OK when you are hauling around a bunch of peeps and dogs, and perhaps lunches while on trips. What is not OK to me is to see someone like my nephew drive my sister's SUV in a flatland town like Lubbock and he drives it because it's more comfortable and has a better stereo. Hogwash!

    By Blogger benny06, at 5:45 PM  

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