Too heavy, too dirty – too dangerous? After a fatal accident the protest against SUV gets louder and louder. The off-roaders should even be banned. Is that possible? And are the prejudices correct?

The rage on tons of SUVs in our cities – the death ride from Berlin bring them to overcooking. Activists are protesting against BMW and Mercedes, who are making billions on the thirsty SUVs. Residents meet at the vigil at the intersection where four pedestrians died. Also at the auto show IAA (from 12 September) should come to protests.

Mahnwache in Berlin: After a Porsche SUV raced onto the sidewalk in a pedestrian group, four pedestrians died here. (Source: imago images / Rolf Zöllner)Mahnwache in Berlin: After a Porsche SUV raced onto the sidewalk in a pedestrian group, four pedestrians died here. (Source: Rolf Zöllner / imago images)

Photo series with 12 pictures

The discussion about SUVs in our inner cities also deals with politics. The demands range from the city toll for off-roaders to the sales stop. But what about the bad reputation of the SUV?

Do SUVs really consume more fuel?

Yes. The SUVs registered in the first half of 2019 emit an average of 144.1 grams of CO2 per kilometer. This corresponds to an average consumption of 6.2 liters. All passenger cars have an average CO2 emissions of 133.4 grams per kilometer. This results in a consumption of 5.6 liters. And in this value, the output of the SUV is already included – without SUV, the balance sheet would again be significantly lower.

Are SUVs more dangerous than other types of vehicles?

"You can not just say that an SUV is fundamentally more dangerous than a Polo or a smart," says accident researcher Siegfried Brockmann of the German Insurance Association. More impact than the weight would have speed and nature of the collision.

It is important, according to Brockmann, at which point of a car, the pedestrian impact. Conversely, even small cars can have a construction-related safety disadvantage compared to a larger SUV.

The ADAC has analyzed corresponding accident data and comes to a similar conclusion: Accordingly, SUV or SUV bring no increased risk of serious injuries and deaths for pedestrians in a collision with it. Also, the higher weight does not play a decisive worsening role, as a pedestrian is generally compared to any car at a disadvantage.

Protest against SUV: Greenpeace activists block in Bremerhaven unloading new BMW off-roader. The increasing popularity of large off-roaders endanger climate targets and other road users. (Source: dpa / Bodo Marks)Protest against SUV: Greenpeace activists block in Bremerhaven unloading new BMW off-roader. The increasing popularity of large off-roaders endanger climate targets and other road users. (Source: Bodo Marks / dpa)

Past crash test ratings would even show that at least compact SUV on average provide better pedestrian protection than the normal compact models.

However, the ADAC limits: Especially these SUV would have rather little in common with the classic design. Especially in smaller segments are SUV models rather hochgebockte variants of the basic model, which – against hefty extra charge – only produce an SUV feeling. That does not apply to the big models of the luxury class.


Could the sale of SUVs be banned?

Hardly so, so the ADAC. A spokesman for the traffic club told t-online.de: "The ADAC considers a ban on SUVs to be unworkable and meaningless."

This is confirmed by accident researcher Brockmann. He says: "Anything beyond 50 km / h impact velocity will cause at least life-threatening injuries, often death, regardless of vehicle type." Proponents of a stricter speed limit in cities are likely to feel affirmed by this statement.

The ADAC added: Decisive for the safety of pedestrians and cyclists is rather the responsible driving – that applies in particular for alcohol at the wheel, distraction for example by a Smartphone as well as an adapted speed. "In this respect, accident prevention can not be solved by banning a vehicle class, but by more consideration," said the spokesman.

(t) SUV (t) Protest (t) CO2 (t) ADAC (t) IAA (t) Off-road vehicle (t) Car (t) BMW

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