Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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SUV Stabiliser

Training wheels for cars
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I saw a statistic last night that stated that 20% of all single vehicle accidents in the US were SUV rollovers.

In order to counteract this I suggest folding stabilisers, in the manner of the training wheels that you use when learning to ride a bike. When a clinometer/accelerometer in the vehicle detects an imminent rollover, the hydraulically operated stabilisers deploy, thus keeping the vehicle on an even keel. Once the crisis is over, they retract.

oneoffdave, Mar 26 2003

permanent training wheels for mini Mercedes http://www.getfunny...res.com/crt336.html
[FarmerJohn, Oct 05 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]

(?) SUV Rollover http://www.tealeafmag.com
SUV rollover psychology [tealeaf magazine, Oct 05 2004]

[link]






       "He might have survived if his training wheel hadn't got caught in the crash barrier."   

       I applaud the effort, but surely the answer has to be to build a better balanced car. Croissant for the image, though.
st3f, Mar 26 2003
  

       I deplore the unwarranted use of SUVs. That said, perhaps the humiliation of training wheels will cause reckless drivers to reconsider their actions. Those who drive SUVs for practical reasons (I think there are *some* who do) can take comfort in the safety feature. I will add a stability croissant to the other side.
brenna, Mar 26 2003
  

       "The oncoming motorcyclist/cyclist/pedestrian may have avoided the madly-swerving SUV if the hydraulically powered stabiliser arm had not landed on his head".   

       "A pedestrian was crippled today after a swerving SUV chopped his feet off. An automatic stabiliser popped out of the side of the vehicle as the driver avoided a small fluffy kitten that had wandered into the road."   

       "An SUV was seen doing flips today, after swerving too sharply. A hydraulic stabiliser popped out of the side of the vehicle and caused it to flip over, at which point the other stabiliser popped out and flipped the vhicle the other way. This continued for several hours before the fire brigade caught the vehicle by laying a pool of sticky glue."
Mayfly, Mar 26 2003
  

       SUVs are not inherently unstable. SUV drivers are inherently untrained.

<rant> Until we implement a comprehensive driver’s training course to ensure that the operators of any private vehicle are competent, there will be tens of thousands of preventable deaths every year. Most people can’t remember what happened just prior to and during an accident. That means that they will do the same thing next time. </rant>

For all of the safety issues that were brought up by the previous annotations, and because I detest laws and devices that protect stupid people from themselves… fishbone
ato_de, Mar 26 2003
  

       Nope, I think we simply need to abandon the SUV in favor of the van and/or station wagon (both have a large carrying capaicity, but a much lower center of gravity). How many people *actually* need to drive their SUVs off road?
DrCurry, Mar 26 2003
  

       This idea sort of reminds me of those convertibles that have rollbars that pop up when they roll over. So the technology is obviously there to do something similar.   

       If you want to stabilise an SUV I would recommend about 2 tons of ballast attached to the bottom of the vehicle. It might worsen their fuel consumption and acceleration, but if you drive an SUV that's probably don't care about either of those factors.   

       Either that, or put big aerofoils on top.
pottedstu, Mar 26 2003
  

       No. I have it. In the bottom of the SUV place a number of stockily-built pigs, and install spikes at either side of the SUV. As the vehicle tilts over in one direction, the porcines will slide down and, fearing impalement, will run to the other side, where their weight will stabilise the vehicle.
pottedstu, Mar 26 2003
  

       Thanks for the mental image Stu. Lmao.
Mayfly, Mar 26 2003
  

       Fit skinny tyres, like on a 2CV. They let go before the car rolls over, resulting in a slide which apparently every USA citizen is able to control to a degree of nicety. According to the movies, anyway.
egbert, Mar 26 2003
  

       It's amazing the similarities between SUVs and tortoises.
Worldgineer, Mar 26 2003
  

       Build SUVs with excessively wide roofs:
(a) The increased risk of going up onto two wheels and making your passengers soil themselves (oh, wait - no SUV ever has more than one person in it, except during the school run) would encourage drivers to take corners that much more slowly, and
(b) The wider roof would make it that much harder to tip tight over.
friendlyfire, Mar 26 2003
  

       I saw this as only being deployed once the SUV was in the process of tipping. There is a risk to other road users but it should only occur when the alternative is an SUV landing on them. I'm against SUV's on normal roads in normal coonditions for this reason but I suspect as more and more drivers get them, the number of people who feel intimidated by them and want to get one in turn will only accelerate.
oneoffdave, Mar 26 2003
  

       Perhaps a softer solution - the external SUV airbag?
Worldgineer, Mar 26 2003
  

       + for creating an SUV idea that isn't anti-.
waugsqueke, Mar 26 2003
  

       [egbert]: No, it's part of the test to get a driver's license here. We have to learn 180's, 360's, barrel rolls and jumping over stuff through a wall of fire. And discharging firearms while driving through narrow alleyways at top speed. But it's worth it.   

       If rollover can be detected, per the idea, can't it be prevented by some kind of automated deceleration mechanism kicking in?
snarfyguy, Mar 26 2003
  

       Would these devices allow you to bounce at stop signs?
Worldgineer, Mar 26 2003
  

       A great big gyroscope....
RayfordSteele, Mar 26 2003
  

       (picturing Ray's SUV precessing into the next lane while going up a hill)
Worldgineer, Mar 26 2003
  

       Got to agree with ato_de. Consumer culture is too full as it is with Stuff-For-Dummies. It's one thing not to have to touch your television to turn it on; it's quite another when 90% of the population knows how to click the "My Computer" icon on their desktops, but less than 10% knows what that computer is doing once that icon is clicked.   

       I fear for us, I really do. The great crises of our lives will find us all cowering before the Blue Screen of Death, unable to find a signal on the cellphone, not knowing how to use a toilet plunger, as our children scream at us from their lunatic carseats. My God, people! Find your socket wrenches and figure out how to use them! The end is near!   

       But I digress.   

       My pal the paramedic (it's so good to have one of those) believes that the high SUV-rollover rate is due to the fact that many of today's new-SUV buyers have never actually owned high-profile vehicles, such as pickup trucks, before. [Insert your favorite soccer-mommy streotype here.] They don't really know that you have to drive your SUV differently from the way you'd drive, say, a Honda Civic. It feels like a car, it seats your kids like a car, it's got cupholders like a car ... it must drive like a car, right?   

       My pal's proof of this theory: when she gets called to the scene of an SUV accident, it's almost always a new car, and the occupant is simply stunned.   

       [oneoff], propose a set of SUV training wheels thet really ARE just for training purposes -- wheels that wear out or fall off or retract once the driver knows what she's doing. I'd vote for that.
1percent, Mar 26 2003
  

       We have a Ford Explorer (my husband calls it the "Exploder") for towing a horse trailer and that's about it. It does seem kind of tippy.   

       < a thought: Rayford's Central Precessing Unit >
bristolz, Mar 26 2003
  

       suspension airbags are baked. VW's new SUV has them already. It lowers itself at high speeds and is higher when going slow. You could always put in some sway bars. That would make it squat down in the turns instead of rolling. The only problem would be that it would change the handling from understeer to oversteer, and that might be too much for the SUV drivers to handle. ^.^; +good
xtraspecialzero, Mar 27 2003
  

       [pottedstu] Their high pitch squealing would also serve as an alert. LMAO too!
37PiecesOf Flair, May 04 2005
  

       [No, it's part of the test to get a driver's license here. We have to learn 180's, 360's, barrel rolls and jumping over stuff through a wall of fire. And discharging firearms while driving through narrow alleyways at top speed. But it's worth it]   

       Great anno, [snarfyguy].   

       And [1percent], your friend -   

       [ It feels like a car, it seats your kids like a car, it's got cupholders like a car ... it must drive like a car, right?   

       My pal's proof of this theory: when she gets called to the scene of an SUV accident, it's almost always a new car, and the occupant is simply stunned. ] is probably right on target.
normzone, May 04 2005
  

       //and because I detest laws and devices that protect stupid people from themselves// what makes you think that they only hurt themselves?
krigre55, Dec 05 2007
  

       Sad that I found this so late but [Mayfly] killed me. PS If you want an SUV that won't rollover, at least under normal amounts of stupidity, get a Discovery. The suspension is most of the vehicle weight so they actually have a low CG. I bought one years ago, and before you groan too loud, I bought it to drive the AlCan pulling a camper. And yes, the Alcan even broke the Disco. I know they won't roll because I did what everyone should do when they get a new vehicle, I found a local SCCA group and took it autocrossing and scred the daylights out of the professional training driver who rode copilot.
MisterQED, Dec 05 2007
  

       To avoid all the inconveniences of the flip down stabilisers (maiming, taking up space) you could have a hydraulic jack that shoves the wheels out by a metre on the outer side of the turn. A more sophisticated version could sound an alarm when the car about to leave its wheels, go into neutral and push out the wheels by the appropriate amount to prevent roll. To avoid abuse of the system, it would remain in neutral for 30 seconds with the annoying alarm still blaring.   

       [MisterQED] You can roll a Disco, I've seen one go. You can also roll a Defender, I've done it. I've also been in one when it landed on its nose and stayed like it.
marklar, Dec 06 2007
  

       Fair enough I will amend my original statement "under normal amounts of stupidity" and reasonably good driving conditions a Disco or Defender won't roll. I'm sure your story is interesting and may have included someone saying "hey watch this!" or maybe you just had really bad driving conditions, such as an icy road combined with badly placed drainage ditch.   

       Wouldn't the sudden movement of the axle outboard cause the SUV to roll by reaction? Unless the axle was very light.   

       I'm actually hoping the the age of hybrids will make SUVs safer by adding [pottedstu]'s "two tons of ballast" in the form of batteries, though maybe a ton will be plenty.
MisterQED, Dec 07 2007
  

       //You can roll a Disco//   

       I can't. I'm hopeless on skates.
jtp, Dec 07 2007
  
      
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