Tuesday, October 11, 2005

SUV's cause greater pedestrian injury than normal cars

Well, no DUH, Sherlock. As I was driving to work this morning, our local news radio station had a short interview with some guy from the healthcare industry (I missed his name at the beginning of the report) eagerly relating to all of us drooling morons that when a pedestrian is struck by an SUV, they tend to suffer greater injuries than if they are struck by a normal-sized car. And for this they pay this guy?

Now, it's been a long time since I took high school physics so bear with me. It is, however, a fairly widely known phenomenon that when an object is struck by another object travelling at a given speed, the impact tends to transfer a lot more energy the more massive the striking object gets. Ergo, when Joe Pedestrian steps off the curb and gets plowed over by a moving vehicle, it can be generally assumed that his injuries will be more significant if, instead of being smacked by a Honda Civic at 30 miles per hour, he's hit by a Chevy Subdivision. I mean, Suburban. You get the idea.

I wish I had the audio to play for you so you could hear the sound in this guy's voice as he was telling us all this. It was like he was sure none of us would ever have been able to figure this out on our own. Oh, and did he want some sort of action taken as a result of this stunning new revelation? You betcha.

He wants warning labels placed in SUV's warning the drivers of those vehicles of the increased danger posed to pedestrians.

Oh, yeah. That's worked out so well for the tobacco industry. It's just amazing to me that someone thinks this is, in any way, a reasonable suggestion. As though someone who's climbing into the driver's seat of a car will be more concerned about not hitting some schmoe walking across the street as a result of reading. A. Label. I certainly hope this guy's not working with grant money.