General Question

shilolo's avatar

Why are jacked up or lifted SUVs legal on the road?

Asked by shilolo (18038points) March 21st, 2009

I was driving my Honda Civic today in bumper to bumper traffic when I started getting tailgated by a lifted SUV.

All I could think was, “If there is an accident, that thing will go right over my trunk and remove the entire roof-top of the car, along with everyone in it”. It would be bad enough to get into an accident with another car, or even a half ton SUV-truck, but, these vehicles seem even more dangerous than the average SUV-truck. How is this legal?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

42 Answers

marinelife's avatar

This discussion provides this information on California law. It also has a couple of horrible accident stories. I think you are right to be fearful.

“California law requires:

24400. (a) A motor vehicle, other than a motorcycle, shall be:
(1) Equipped with at least two headlamps, with at least one on
each side of the front of the vehicle, and, except as to vehicles
registered prior to January 1, 1930, they shall be located directly
above or in advance of the front axle of the vehicle. The headlamps
and every light source in any headlamp unit shall be located at a
height of not more than 54 inches nor less than 22 inches.”

SuperMouse's avatar

This changed my opinion of SUV’s forever, they freak me right out in any form. Lifted they are even more frightening!

Cardinal's avatar

If a SUV scares you, what do you do with a 90 THOUSAND POUND truck riding your tail!

essieness's avatar

So the owners can show off their douchebaggery in all it’s glory.

xxporkxsodaxx's avatar

To give the right to the crazy people that enjoy rock climbing into their vehicle the ability to make sure you feel unsafe.

SuperMouse's avatar

@essieness and @xxporkxsodaxx my theory about the drivers of big old trucks does fit with douchebaggery hypothesis. I have always believed the bigger the truck the smaller the er, the equipment.

A_Beaverhausen's avatar

i dont understand why people are afraid of suvs and semis, they are people just like you, just be the better driver.

Darwin's avatar

And be quick to get out of the way when they roll over because SUVs are top heavy anyway, and lifted ones are even more so.

rooeytoo's avatar

I have a lifted land cruiser, it is lifted so it can get through water up to 1.5 meters deep, often necessary here to get into town. So I have one because I need it and I am a little old lady so it has nothing to do with my equipment. I think a safe driver is a safe driver no matter what vehicle they are in and a maniac is a maniac. I was run off the road last week by a Suzuki car, the guy in it almost caused a head on passing me when I was going a couple of mph over the speed limit. If you want the SUV’s off the roads, then what about the tractor trailers, they can really smash you!

shilolo's avatar

@rooeytoo I live in San Francisco. There is no need for this. As for tractor trailers, at least they serve a purpose (transporting goods), whereas a jacked-up SUV-truck is purely an ego “boost” for the driver.

essieness's avatar

@rooeytoo If you’re actually using it for it’s utility purposes, that’s one thing. But most of the ones I see (I live in Texas) are just assholes driving around town who obviously haven’t been driving through any mud…

Darwin's avatar

@essieness – And don’t you just love the lifted giant pick up trucks that stick their “truck nuts” in your face during rush hour?

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

@SuperMouse my wife subscribes to that same theory. In fact, when we are out driving around she often remarks upon seeing one of those jacked up trucks “That guy must have an innie.” and she doesn’t mean a belly button.

As for semi tractor trailer trucks, a good way to find out how safe of a distance it is to be when following them or when one is following you on the highway is to have a friend stand at the side of the road (preferably a little used straight stretch of road) and then go back a mile or so, drive until you reach cruising speed, and then when you reach the point where your car is even with your friend, brake as hard as you can to stop without going into a skid. Measure the distance from where your friend is standing to where you stopped.

Then take that number and multiply it by twenty to see how much room a tractor trailer truck needs to stop. Your car on average weighs about 3500 lbs. A fully loaded semi is about twenty times that. This is a good way to keep from being killed on the road, because you have an idea of what sort of distance a semi needs to stop. Make sure your friend is bright enough to NOT stand on the center line.

Darwin's avatar

@evelyns_pet_zebraOr at least wears a really bright colored shirt. Besides you shouldn’t be driving on the center line either so he/she should be safe

essieness's avatar

@Darwin OMG, yes… And the obnoxious loud pipes. Get over yourself dude. I saw this one recently and couldn’t resist the photo op!

marinelife's avatar

Tractor trailers are driven by professional drivers so they don’t worry me nearly as much.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

@essieness that’s my number one pet peeve about Harley riders. Loud obnoxious pipes.

TaoSan's avatar

Because much like guns they serve as logical penis extensions….

aviona's avatar

slash their tires.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

Sure, slash the tires of some dude who likes his truck ten feet in the air, and then, when he puts a bullet in you, you can explain to the ER doctor why some lunatic shot you in the face. I have normal sized tires on my truck, but if I ever caught anyone miessing with my vehicle, they’d be goddamn sorry real quick. That’s as chickenshit as keying someone’s car.

That’s some real bad advice, I hope you were kidding.

aviona's avatar

Juuuust a joke.

essieness's avatar

haha wow…

Grinn's avatar

I have a Raised F-250, It has a 5 inch lift kit and it has 45 inch mud tires. I have it so i can go 4×4ing with friends and it doesnt look to bad. My Truck is right on the legal limit so i get pulled over alot when i drive, I dont know why it should be illegal to have a lifted truck, i mean i could say the same thing about having a dumped little honda civic (vise versa Obvoiously) and that its to low and it could drive right under me. Its just a diffrence of opinion with everyone and what you like.

shilolo's avatar

@Grinn Most automobiles in the USA are sedans of one form or another. Then there are SUVs and trucks, which already place the sedan drivers at a disadvantage in a collision. A lifted SUV or truck is even more dangerous in an accident. This isn’t a difference of opinion. The lifted SUVs/trucks serve little to no purpose (you even said you use it for 4×4ing rather than working), and are a real hazard.

Grinn's avatar

Im not saying it doesnt raise the danger factor. I have a horrible turn radius and its extremely hard to turn in small areas and nearly impossible to park. But i Need it to pull my boat and my trailer. The lift kit was my decision. I live in Arizona so it helps a bit. Its normally the driver who causes the accident, not the Truck/S.U.V.

shilolo's avatar

Whichever driver causes the accident is irrelevant. The fact that a lifted SUV could virtually crush a car ± decapitate its occupants is the issue.

rooeytoo's avatar

Maybe tractor trailers should be outlawed, and buses and all big vehicles so it is safer for people who choose to drive small cars?

As they say with guns, it is not the vehicle but the driver, if all drive safely regardless of what vehicle they are in, there will be no problems.

I don’t want the government or anyone telling me what sort of vehicle I am allowed, where again is the land of the free headed?????

shilolo's avatar

@rooeytoo Your argument makes no sense. Those things all serve a real function, whereas in the US, most jacked up trucks serve no purpose except for the “enjoyment” of the owner. Besides, lots of things are regulated, so there is absolutely no reason why these dangerous vehicles couldn’t and shouldn’t be. Much like the argument against personal ownership of assault rifles that clearly aren’t designed for hunting.

rooeytoo's avatar

@shilolo – It is simply another personal freedom that you apparently want to be eliminated. I agree on assault rifles, they are designed to kill, a lot, quickly. SUV’s are not designed to kill anything, there is no comparison.

And using, “Besides, lots of things are regulated,” as a reason really makes no sense! There are already too many laws, why would you ever want more.

I don’t like drunk drivers but no one wants prohibition because not all who drink are drunk drivers. So the same is true of SUV’s, not all who own them drive recklessly and cause accidents.

I knew a kid in high school who rearended a tractor trailer in his jeep on a foggy night and was decapitated. You say no big deal because the big truck has a job. Didn’t make his parents feel any better and let’s face it, driving too fast on a foggy night when there is no visibility is not a good decision.

shilolo's avatar

Jacking up a truck or SUV is needless. There is absolutely no reason for it, which is why I think it is crazy to argue about it.

Besides, “we have too many laws?” I don’ think so.

rooeytoo's avatar

Your logic is interesting to say the least, there is absolutely NO REASON for lots of things, do you think all things that have no reason should be made unlawful? That would eliminate a lot.

You’re right it is crazy to argue, I can’t begin to fathom anyone wanting more freedoms to be legislated away!

shilolo's avatar

The freedom to jack up a truck is oh so precious. Just like freedom of speech… Oh wait…

rooeytoo's avatar

I give up, you win, I see the error of my ways! It should be outlawed, along with chewing gum, eating at MacDonalds and sugar drinks and breakfast cereals.

Can’t think of anything else that needs to be outlawed at the moment. But I am sure there are more.

shilolo's avatar

Right. that’s why it says in the Declaration of Independence, ”...life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness monster trucks.”

Grinn's avatar

Thanks rooeytoo. :)

rooeytoo's avatar

I said you win, if it ain’t in the Dec of Ind, then it shouldn’t be allowed!!!

Maybe mountain bikes should be outlawed too cuz if they are in a collision with a racing bike, those big monster tires are gonna shred the skinny little racer. And I think I will have to destroy my dog training scooter because if I ever hit someone on a Razor, it will have devastating effects. My off road skateboard is terrifying compared to the ones used in skate parks, guess that will have to go to. The list goes on and on (mumbling as I go out with sledge hammer to destroy big, mean useless things)

shilolo's avatar

Hooray for logic ~

barnettzr's avatar

Hey why do you have to be so close-minded about this. Lifted trucks don’t physically bother anyone as much as any other car would. People do it because they get enjoyment and satisfaction out of it. Its a hobby and for you to say that something that so many people enjoy so much should be taken away from them is downright disrespectful. I understand how they could be more dangerous but like everyone else has said, its really up to the driver in the end to maintain safety.

shilolo's avatar

Yeah, just like the NRA’s argument “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people…” This logic is absurd on its face. Why can’t I make homemade explosives if its “my hobby”? Oh, because it is dangerous. Why can’t I prepare dangerous chemicals at home if its “my hobby”? Same. Your “hobby” puts a number of other people at risk when you are on the road and as such deserves no protections.

dc8333's avatar

most of the drivers in these jacked up trucks drive as if there are sports cars and they are not!
too heavy longer stopping distance and poor handling. One moron where I live killed a driver in of these. They should be outlawed you fools driving them are taking too many risks!
The same idiots try to race performance cars on the highway.

rooeytoo's avatar

I don’t care what anybody drives as long as they don’t drive drunk. I would much rather be around a sober person in an suv than a drunk in a sports car or anything with and engine.

bigtruckgoodsize's avatar

I drive a big truck lifted 6inches big tires and my unit is a good size.

Answer this question

Login

or

Join

to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
or
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther