Four Wheel Drives: Do They Belong in Metro Areas?

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Should there be bans or regulations on owning four wheel drives in metro areas?

 Are 4WD’s problematic in metro areas or are the concerns surrounding 4WDs inaccurate?

Check out my video response below:

There’s plenty more where that came from! Check out my other YouTube videos by clicking here

 I don’t see the point in having a four wheel drive unless you are utilizing it for off road travel or work purposes. I don’t particularly like the look of them, their size, and I don’t perceive them to be a luxury/prestige item. Regardless, I think that the negativity surrounding them is somewhat exaggerated. I don’t think that they should be banned from metro areas but I will support regulations on them. 

Primarily, the driver is the problem, not the vehicle. Any vehicle can be pose a number of hazards but where do you draw the line? In collisions, large cars are a threat to medium cars, medium cars to small cars and even small cars to micro cars.  Beyond cars, there are motorcyclists, bicyclists, trucks, vans, buses, utes, and trams. They all pose threats.

Large four wheel drives are not as easy to roll over. Several utility vehicles are more likely to roll over. There is a misconception about four wheel drives having centre of gravity issues. Larger vehicles have a higher centre of gravity but this is almost irrelevant to the centre of its gravity. The majority of a larger 4WD’s mass is in the engine, fuel tanks, gear box, and drive train. 4WDs are no better or worse when compared to vehicles such as larger sedans, vans and people movers.

People also tend to think that it is harder to see out of a 4WD and it’s harder to reverse out of it due to the height of the vehicle restricting vision. IAG (Australia’s largest motor vehicle insurance) and the NRMA (Australia’s largest motoring organization) created the first ever rear visibility test. They tested more than 170 car makes and models:

“The Toyota land cruiser, best selling 4WD in Australia, scored 3 out of 5. It proved to have better rear visibility than 100% of the vans, 100% of the medium sedans, 93% of small vans and pickups, 92% of large sedans, 85% of luxury sedans, and 52% of sports cars”.

Even the very best designed car has a blind spot of around three metres which could easily hide a small child. Furthermore, pedestrians are more likely to be killed by a sedan than a 4WD. Sedans are primary responsible for road rage and overall pedestrian deaths.

Four wheel drives do consume more fuel on average than sedans due to weight factors, however in the city where average speeds are less than 30kmh and air resistance is negligible, a 4WD will use the same amount of fuel as any other vehicle of the same weight. This dispels a great amount of belief that 4WDs waste natural resources and use too much fuel.

In terms of emissions, larger capacity vehicles have serious air pollution implications. Vehicles that use diesel fuel are particular culprits of this. Over 20% of four wheel drives are diesel and over 90% of 4WDs have an engine capacity greater than 2 litres, with the more than a third having a capacity of over 4 litres.

A larger four wheel drive is not an ideal car for a single person to be driving around in the city, but many people require a larger vehicle for work purposes. They have to carry heavy tools and equipment and need to access difficult work sites. Four wheel drives are also great for towing purposes.

My beef is with people/families who do not own a four wheel drive for off road/work purposes and who have absolutely no idea how to drive them. Buying a four wheel drive for its prestige factor is an absolute jerk off.  These types of drivers pose a greater risk to other road traffic and pedestrians. A large sedan,station wagon, or people mover offers very similar amounts of interior space. Most four wheel drives have no more load capacity than station wagons.

It’s too difficult to be regulating on the basis of off road usage but I strongly support the idea of a four wheel drive license for owners since the skills and knowledge necessary to operate a 4WD are more advanced than regular driving.

Check out my article on world war 3 by clicking here

 

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