I recently read Malcolm Gladwell’s blog post about SUV’s. I’ve always heard and understood that there was a psychological element to car purchasing, but Gladwell did a really nice job demonstrating all the different dimensions involved in SUV purchases. The most popular one I’ve heard was about the increase in women SUV drivers. I’m sure you’ve noticed more soccer moms in them than mini vans lately, right? They say that it’s a way for women to gain or grasp a sense of control in their life. -shrugs- I know there are people who would argue both ways. =p
Anyway, Gladwell went into a more in-depth discussion of why SUVs were getting purchased. He made a few different points, but I really liked the one about safety. If you were asked which car you would purchase for safety, most of us would probably answer with either a SUV or a Volvo. However, according to crash ratings, a SUV isn’t as safe as most of us think it is. I was, and most of us probably were too, under the impression that because there is more steel caging around us, the safer we must be when a collision occurs. Unfortunately, because of the extra 5 tons of weight makes it more difficult to maneuver compared to smaller more agile vehicles. A larger car might (although not really) be safer when hit, but truth is, smaller would be able to dodge an incoming car – avoiding a collision in the first place. The most interesting part of his entry was how he brought up the point that although all the crash ratings show that SUVs perform lower in safety tests compared to other cars, such as minivans, but people still continue to purchase large SUVs still convinced and under the impression that they’re safer. EVEN though the ratings show otherwise!
The point is, whatever the mind thinks and believes is true, will overpower numbers and facts.