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Overturned SUV crash injures four

Original post made on May 28, 2013

As many as four people were hospitalized after an SUV overturned on northbound Interstate Highway 280 near Los Altos this afternoon, May 28, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, May 28, 2013, 4:08 PM

Comments (26)

Posted by Sell Mom's, a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 28, 2013 at 4:19 pm

Those reports years ago about SUVs being very prone to roll-overs sure were spot on correct. Years of evidence now logged. I hope these latest victims are OK. If you still think you're safe in an SUV, you have been fooled, and as we all know its easier to fool someone than to convince them they have been fooled. Drive safely.

Posted by Dianne, a resident of Monta Loma
on May 28, 2013 at 9:03 pm

Well, Sell Morr, I have been driving SUVs since 1987 and never rolled over or had any other accidents. I suggest that it is drivers fault, not vehicle fault.

Posted by Wo'O Ideafarm, a resident of another community
on May 28, 2013 at 9:24 pm

Wo\'O Ideafarm is a registered user.

SUV = Dumbing of America

The short wheel base and high center of gravity of an SUV is pure idiocy from a safety point of view. There is no driving environment in which this vehicle design makes any technical sense. SUV's exist only because they can be combined with predatory advertising that exploits the psychology of urban commuters who want to imagine themselves to be adventurous.

The SUV can be viewed as a descendant of the Chevrolet Blazer and Ford Bronco, which in turn were inspired by the World War II Willys Jeep. The 1946 Willys Jeep was light, cheap, simple, and rugged. None of the products that followed would be of any use at all in a combat or true adventure scenario. They are all far too heavy and, except for the Bronco, too large. The bodies are too weak to withstand the shock of true trailblazing, and there is far too much expensive bells and whistles to break and to stop you dead in your tracks 200 miles from the nearest mechanic.

I was driving a '46 Willys Jeep, equipped with machine gun tripod mounts, when I was ten years old. If you live in the Bay Area and you commute on freeways to work, it is totally insane for you to drive an SUV. It is also obscene squandering of irreplaceable resources that we should be preserving for future generations. Stop watching Chevrolet advertisements and start purchasing vehicles that are well designed for your real, not your imaginary wannabe, lifestyle.

Posted by Sell Mom's, a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 29, 2013 at 8:48 am

Dianne, I guess if it didn't happen to you, it doesn't happen? I put my faith in the accident reports that show they are in fact far more prone to roll overs than cars, especially at freeway speeds. Yes, its the driver's fault in the end, for thinking the vehicle they own is as stable as a car and for not making adjustments in their speed. The problems come when people make a quick evasive maneuver that would be no problem in a car, but in an SUV, its very touchy and I would guess that less than 5% of SUV drivers are trained to do this and recover instead of rolling over. These are heavy bloated vehicles that should NEVER be driver as if they were as agile as a car. It would make sense if they had a lower speed limit, like other large trucks. SUVs should have a freeway Max of 55, 45 on steep grades.

Posted by wilson, a resident of Blossom Valley
on May 29, 2013 at 1:39 pm

SUV owners out there, ask yourselves this question: "In a Formula 1 or any car racing event, do they build the race cars high off the ground of as low as possible?". Come on, where is your common sense? SUV is the stupidest thing ever.

Posted by Mark, a resident of Old Mountain View
on May 29, 2013 at 1:45 pm

This is the great thing about freedom of choice. We have the right to choose what we want to drive and not let the government dictate what we can and cannot do. So if you want to drive an SUV, you still have the freedom to do so.

Posted by Jose, a resident of Martens-Carmelita
on May 29, 2013 at 2:10 pm

You can drive whatever you like, just as long as you aren't a guy who bought and drives a Fiat. Guys, please don't do this. NO matter how cheap or cool you think that car is.

Posted by Steve, a resident of Sylvan Park
on May 29, 2013 at 2:24 pm

Truly the land of the free... we can misuse our high-center-of-gravity truck, cause it to overturn, and still sue the manufacturer for allowing us to buy it in the first place!

Posted by Old Timer, a resident of Rex Manor
on May 29, 2013 at 2:41 pm


Owned a K-10 Blazer way back. Used it offroad 75% of the time. Really off road, not gravel fire trails. Had 100% skid plates, winch and 5-points. all off-road tricked out. That was about all it was good for. Too high, too big, and too noisy for the highway. Handled like a grocery cart at freeway speeds.

Posted by BvP, a resident of another community
on May 29, 2013 at 2:41 pm

Comparing a Formula 1 car with a SUV? Someone should redesign big rigs, they are top heavy as well.

Averaqe Formula 1 car - 1000
Average SUV - 300 give or take

Top speed:
Formula 1 car: 200+ mph (dependent on race course)*
SUV (average): 120 mph (if you're dumb enough to try it)
*Including 5-6 Gs in lateral turns

Formula 1 car - 1 professional race car driver
SUV - Joe and Jane Schmoe plus 3 - 6 passengers

Formula 1 car - circuit racing
SUV - getting around, carrying stuff

Common sense is a good thing...when applied correctly. Besides, where are you going to put the groceries in a Formula 1?

Posted by Chuckles, a resident of Blossom Valley
on May 29, 2013 at 2:46 pm

"We have the right to choose what we want to drive and not let the government dictate what we can and cannot do."

Drive around with no hood or fenders and see how free you are from the gov't telling you what you can and cannot do.
SUVs are legal though, as long as they conform to government mandated standards, so your point is valid. I liken their drivers to toupee owners. They are free to drive it/wear it, and I am free to point and laugh at the silly choices their egos have made for them

Posted by Dear Wo/'O, a resident of Jackson Park
on May 29, 2013 at 2:49 pm

Your lifestyle & mine are not the same. You have absolutely no idea what my lifestyle needs are. With kids & their friends, plus dogs. We go camping, on field trips, long drives to Grandpas, sporting events (that the kids play in), skiing, etc.

We don't want to pretend to be adventurous. We are not adventurers. We live the lifestyle that we live, and our SUV works perfectly. We had smaller cars, and they did not work perfectly.

I know you are all about free speech. But, try very hard to stop pretending that YOUR free speech is the only one that matters.

You are wrong again!

Posted by wally, a resident of Jackson Park
on May 29, 2013 at 6:00 pm

Wo\'O Ideafarm:

if anything was a danger, it was your stupid trailer when you would leave it IN THE STREET at El Camino and El Monte.

Thank god the police finally took it away.

Posted by parent, a resident of another community
on May 29, 2013 at 7:32 pm

I saw the aftermath of the accident. It looked horrible. The roof of the SUV was crushed. I hope the people in the vehicle survive.

Posted by jasminebrew, a resident of Gemello
on May 29, 2013 at 8:01 pm

The only good news is no other car (especially a small car) was involved and no one died. It is not the fault of the SUV but it is the fault of rogue drivers who cause this kind of accident. I bet this guy was driving at dangerous speeds and changing more than 2 lanes on a curvy part of the road. I see so many people drive so carelessly at very high speeds with no regard for fellow drivers lives. I sincerely hope the police will spend some time to crack down on dangerous drivers and impose a very heavy fine and post some warning signs that dangerous and rogue drivers will be punished when caught driving stupid. Folks, don't reply to me about what constitutes dangerous driving. i am referring to rogue drivers who weave in and out like race car drivers.

Posted by Wo'O Ideafarm, a resident of another community
on May 29, 2013 at 8:11 pm

Wo\'O Ideafarm is a registered user.

To "Dear Wo/'O":

Your lifestyle sounds like fun; it was my lifestyle when I was younger. When I was growing up in the 60's, the vehicle of choice was a station wagon. Today, I would say that it is a minivan. Minivans have the same or more cargo capacity than an SUV and they are MUCH safer due to (1) lower center of gravity and (2) longer wheelbase.

The only reason to have a vehicle with 30 feet of ground clearance is if you are going to be popping wheelies over man-sized boulders. The design of an SUV is insane except from a marketing point of view. People in the U.S.A. feel powerless (because they ARE powerless). Being up high makes people feel powerful. If you want to understand the American consumer psyche, you've got to start with the fact that the males are powerless and insecure both at home and at work. Give them a big up high truck, a beer, the boob tube, and a joint, and its all ok.


>> I know you are all about free speech. But, try very hard to stop pretending that YOUR free speech is the only one that matters.

I am a teacher, a professor. My goal is to stimulate thinking and conversation. What I say is offered as the "first word", not as the "last word". I envision a Mountain View in which all opinions are tolerated and really listened to by people who respect each other and are united by our basic core values of "liberty and justice for all". I envision a Mountain View in which people are aware of how evil and corrupt the local government is here and how the local news media controls what topics you think about and what viewpoints on those topics you are exposed to.

To wally:

>> your stupid trailer when you would leave it IN THE STREET at El Camino and El Monte.

Yes, there was one scenario that was hazardous. That scenario involved both a motorist and a pedestrian travelling recklessly in violation of the law. During my safety audits I observed this scenario multiple times. Once I realized the problem, I stopped placing the Doghouse there.

In that and in many other instances, the behavior of MVPD officers made matters worse and contributed both to the hazard and to the time it took for me to see it and eliminate it.

>> Thank god the police finally took it away.

They did so unlawfully. Your statement is thus equivalent to, "Thank God our policing agency poops on our Constitution and does whatever it wants to without worrying about whether it is acting legally. Thank God the Mountain View Municipal Corporation operates as if it is not constrained by our federal and state constitutions or by the other laws ordained by the People."

Do you really think so, Wally?

Posted by Waldo, a resident of Waverly Park
on May 29, 2013 at 8:34 pm

Waldo is a registered user.

The SUV-toupee metaphor is cute. For some women, it would be an SUV-high heel shoes metaphor.

Ideafarm --- Have you gotten in trouble with the Palo Alto police yet?

Posted by David, a resident of another community
on May 29, 2013 at 8:35 pm

Dry pavement, middle of day, Interstate freeway. Most likely driving too fast, cutting in and out of lanes; driver's fault, not the vehicle's.

Posted by PA Resident, a resident of another community
on May 29, 2013 at 9:15 pm

Ever tried putting 4 6' teenage boys in a mini van with all their sport paraphanalia?

Minivans are great for small kids, but if you want to carry a family with teenagers in a minivan for a long journey, plus stuff, you are out of luck.

Stationwagons are no longer made. SUVs are the only vehicles to carry teenage boys in the back and still expect some cargo space.

Posted by Try, a resident of Waverly Park
on May 30, 2013 at 7:08 am

We cart around 5 6'(+) 17 year old boys regularly and all their equipment/overnight bags in our mini van all the time. Drove them all down to San diego last Fall. Its just a matter of being smart about loading. My wife still has issues loading the dishwasher properly and has issues loading the van as ell, but done right, its no problem.

Posted by Candy, a resident of Blossom Valley
on May 30, 2013 at 2:22 pm

How come every time Wo\'O Ideafarm posts something, all I hear inside of my head is blah-blah-blah, blah-blah, blah-blah?

Posted by Sara, a resident of Cuesta Park
on May 30, 2013 at 3:03 pm

Wish you all would stop being concerned about the vehicle and be more concerned with the people inside. They are all Foothill College student athletes. Focus people! Regardless what is at fault the human beings involved are more important that a stupid vehicle! You can replace a car BUT NOT a life!

Posted by Steve, a resident of Sylvan Park
on May 30, 2013 at 3:05 pm

Valuable points touched on in this forum:
Not saying that they all do, but an SUV might just have a worthwile transportation role to fill.
An SUV is not inherently dangerous, they do not crash themselves. Like most vehicles, they crash when the driver demands they do something that they are incapable of.
And while we may have the preconceived notion that Mr. Ideafarm is a nut, there just MIGHT be something worthwhile in his words. His experiences with the MVPD mirror mine, his being focused sharply in a short time span, with mine being spread out over my 40+ years here.
And sorry to hear about that 'blah-blah-blah' sound in your head. Boy, that must be distracting!

Posted by Hmm, a resident of Monta Loma
on May 30, 2013 at 3:06 pm

To Candy,

That's probably because you don't read what he says, you just assume everything is blah blah blah, from the start.

Good points Idea Guy!!

Audi and VW still make great safe station wagons. But if you want some unsafe vehicle, then go buy an Asian car.


If people would follow the rules of the road, "Slower traffic move to the right" Then the speeders could have their way and their ticket to. The problem is too many slow people slow them down so the police can't catch them.

Posted by Wo'O Ideafarm, a resident of another community
on May 30, 2013 at 8:12 pm

Wo\'O Ideafarm is a registered user.

We cannot discuss the four victims because none of us know anything about them. But many of us have strong opinions about SUV's ("Stupid Urban Vehicles") and discussing how dangerous and illogical this short wheelbase, high center of gravity vehicles are might awaken potential purchasers to the issue, cause them to rethink their choice, and save many lives "down the road".

I'm skeptical about the claim that SUV's are larger than minivans. I had a 1990 Dodge Grand Caravan. I measured its cargo area and was surprised to find that it was just as large as the cargo area of a full size Ford van. The full size van looks larger only because the cargo box sits way up high on top of a truck frame, while the minivan uses the unibody design which eliminates all of those unuseable cubic feet below the floor. The Grand Caravan, I think, has more cargo capacity than all of the SUV's.

SUV's are just marketing abominations; there is no rationale to the design.

Posted by Ticket Maker, a resident of Castro City
on May 31, 2013 at 6:37 am

Hmm, don't worry, the cops will ticket them for tailgating. I've driven the speed limit(actually 5 mph over) and not moved for a speeder. He tailgated me and got a ticket. This has happened 2 times to mu utter delight.
I wasn't in the passing lane though so too bad for them. Cool your jets next time, or pass on the left.

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