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Road Safety. Let's ban Four Wheel Drives in our Cities.

Updated on April 16, 2014

Why are large four wheel drive recreational vehicles allowed to roam around the city streets?

Why are large four wheel drive recreational vehicles allowed to roam around the city streets?

It is now a well known and established fact that four wheel drives are meant for off-road activities. Why then are these pedestrian dangerous vehicles allowed to congest and endanger the lives of pedestrians in cities especially children. In the interests of road safety I do not see why large recreational vehicles like four wheel drives should be allowed to continue to be used as a means of transport in the cities.

Four Wheel Drive Recreational Vehicles

The statistics are there for all to see but these ones seem to have been ignored by the popular press who are often held hostage by their Advertising section at lost of which is covered by Auto Dealers advertising Four wheel Drives.

These are the startling figures: The incidence of fatal 4WD crashes increased by 85 per cent between 1990 and 1998 (up 28 per cent between 1994 and 1998). By comparison, the incidence of all fatal crashes decreased by 25 per cent between 1990 and 1998 (down 10 per cent between 1994 and 1998).

This increase in fatal 4WD crashes is likely to be due to the growing number of kilometres travelled by 4WDs, rather than any decrease in the safety of 4WDs. The number of kilometres travelled by 4WDs almost doubled between 1995 and 1998. By comparison, the overall number of vehicle kilometres travelled increased by 4 per cent over the same time period.
For those crashes where the 4WD driver contributed to the crash, road user impairment (for example fatigue, alcohol, other drugs, etc) was the most common contributory factor involved (54 per cent).
The proportion of alcohol intoxication amongst 4WD drivers involved in fatal crashes (29 per cent) was higher than for all other types of vehicle operators (for example, 21 per cent of passenger car drivers involved in fatal crashes had blood alcohol concentrations over 0.05g/100ml).
In all fatal crashes, a significantly higher proportion of 4WD vehicles rolled over compared with passenger cars (35 per cent and 13 per cent respectively).
In 4WD crashes involving multiple vehicles, passenger car occupants accounted for the largest proportion of fatalities (64 per cent). 4WD occupants accounted for the second largest but a significantly lower proportion of fatalities (18 per cent).

The statistics are quite horrifying. If your hit by a four wheel drive in a car or as a pedestrian you are three times more likely to die or be seriously maimed.than a normal sedan

As well they use up valuable resources and fuel and pollute the atmosphere far more than a smaller car. So why are they allowed to get away with it ?

I note that Ken Livingstone the former Mayor of London introduced a tax which applies to large vehicles entering London maybe we should adopt the policies here in Australia and other places. I think of the cause & effect world-wide. Imagine the improvement in the quality of life to both the people that live work and shop in the cities and on the environment in general if four wheel drives were removed...

Road injury statistics

Road traffic injuries are a major cause of death and disability globally, with a disproportionate number occurring indeveloping countries.1,2 In many developed countries, injuries are now the leading cause of death among children and young adults.3 Pedestrian deaths constitute the second largest category of motor vehicle deaths in the United States.4-6 More recently Lefler et al.5 and Roudsari et al.6 compared pedestrians’ impact risk factors for sport utility vehicles, pickups, trucks, vans and cars. In fact, the size of the problemis increasing at a fast rate in the developing countries due to rapid motorization and other risk factors such as behavior ofan individual while driving with excessive speed and traffic

Results: A total of 1157 motor vehicle crashes related casualty patients were hospitalized during the year 2000. Of these total patients,  495 victims (42.8%) were involved with 4WDs road traffic crashes related injuries and 72.9% of them required hospitalization. Of these, 76.8% were males, 60.7% were non-UAE nationals. The head injury was more common in those who had crashes from 4WD vehicles (45.6%) than those who had crashes from small cars (37.3%). Abbreviated injury scare showed that four wheelers caused more severe (9.1%), serious (10.3%), critical (8.3%) and moderate injuries (13.9%). A significant higher risk was observed for speed


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    • profile image

      Peter of Ryde NSW 

      9 years ago

      Ban the ugly 4W drives from the city and school areas as well as in shopping center car parks. Get into the dirt which is what they were made for.

    • barryrutherford profile imageAUTHOR

      Barry Rutherford 

      9 years ago from Queensland Australia

      Yes so what STUff the status symbols...

    • ethel smith profile image

      Ethel Smith 

      9 years ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

      I guess many are driven for status symbol reasons etc. Good points here Barry

    • earnestshub profile image


      9 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      Great hub Barry!

      It is a hard one. I see women in the city (Melbourne) drop the kids off in a big 4WD but some that I know, then go and hook up a big horse float or a big boat. How do you tell who needs it and who doesn't? I spent 2 years running around in one when I needed to, and lived in the city at the time, so not sure on this one.

    • tonymac04 profile image

      Tony McGregor 

      9 years ago from South Africa

      This is so important and true, Barry. I just cannot understand when I see a business-suited man driving (alone) in a 4X4 to work along well-paved streets from the well-paved streets of suburbia. The closest most of these monsters get to off-road conditions is when they drive off the public road onto the well-paved driveway of their homes. Unbelievable.

      I agree they should be banned from cities and should also be heavily taxed to pay for the damage they cause.

      Love and peace


    • prettydarkhorse profile image


      9 years ago from US

      You have some valid points here Barry! Risky for children most specially, Maita

    • vrajavala profile image


      9 years ago from Port St. Lucie

      good points. I always thought those gas guzzlers were just for show. Now I see they're just dangerous


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