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View Poll Results: Can SUVs Have A Bullying Effect On Smaller Cars?
Definitely Yes. Size Matters! 109 33.33%
No. It's Just The Imagination Of SUV Owners. 46 14.07%
Depends On The Size/Type Of SUV & Aggressiveness Of Driver 172 52.60%
Voters: 327. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 25th January 2014, 15:53   #1
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Default SUVs & the Bullying effect: Myth or Reality?

When I see ownership reports of new SUV buyers, a significant number of them gleefully claim that everybody gets out of their way when they approach them from behind. Apparently, now, auto drivers and taxis don't want to mess with them anymore, and wait for them to pass at intersections. Such claims mostly come from SUV buyers, who were previously car owners.

It's not just team-bhp ownership reports - such claims are made by journos from Autocar India or Overdrive too. But when I heard such a claim from my friend who just bought a new Duster (come on, its hardly 4 metres long), I was like -

What do you think many SUV owners make such claims?

If you are an SUV owner, do you really see people making way for you? If you sneak up behind a guy driving an Alto, does he really go out of his way to make way for you? If you are approaching an intersection, do cars ALWAYS wait for you to pass?

If you are a car owner, do you go to the left hand side of the road as soon as you to see a Safari or a Fortuner in your rear view mirror? More importantly, do you do the same thing if you see a Maruti 800 instead?
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Old 25th January 2014, 16:04   #2
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Default re: SUVs & the Bullying effect: Myth or Reality?

Well, yes, I do believe that a SUV in your rear view mirrors does look scary.
And yes, the effect is more pronounced on highways.

Though I, in general do give way to anyone who's faster than me.
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Old 25th January 2014, 16:24   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smartcat View Post
Apparently, now, auto drivers and taxis don't want to mess with them anymore, and wait for them to pass at intersections.

But when I heard such a claim from my friend who just bought a new Duster (come on, its hardly 4 metres long), I was like -

If you are an SUV owner, do you really see people making way for you?

If you are a car owner, do you go to the left hand side of the road as soon as you to see a Safari or a Fortuner in your rear view mirror? More importantly, do you do the same thing if you see a Maruti 800 instead?

I drive an 800 and an XUV and I don't agree entirely that 'folks give way' just because you drive an SUV. Sometimes folks do give way but then I give way too when a bus or a truck is overtaking from the left or coming towards me in the opposite direction on narrow roads. Most occasions these buses and trucks are driven rashly and I don't want them anywhere near me! Guess perhaps the same principle would apply to SUVs as well.

On the Duster piece, couldn't help my laughter. No offence to Duster and EcoSport owners but these have become as popular as the swifts and I20s. And it doesn't take time for this to get figured out by the yellow board folks as well

When I drive the 800, I don't get intimidated at all - I drive my normal way. Besides, if at all anything happens, repair cost for the SUV would be anytime higher than my good old 800!!

Most importantly ,it's the way you drive while in a bigger vehicle that makes the difference- you can intimidate folks by driving rashly / not giving space/ tailgating etc and then think folks "respect" you on the road!
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Old 25th January 2014, 16:33   #4
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Default re: SUVs & the Bullying effect: Myth or Reality?

I would say...'yes'. An SUV following my car makes my already small car look even smaller. And since, in our country, it is mostly a politico or a goon behind the wheel of the SUV; it aggravates the matter. If you are lucky, you have a cabbie (no offence to 'regular' SUV owners). But unfortunately, first three of the four mentioned above don't have particularly much hi levels of patience to be written about, it's better to give them way rather than watching them increasing in size in my rear view mirror. Also, it's tough to ignore their hi-pressure horns. Hence mostly, I tend to give them way as soon as I have the opportunity.

It is a different matter altogether that I can floor that A pedal anytime and leave them amidst my fumes (not that my car did not pass the pollution test- just to write), I seldom do that. But at times, it gives me some mental relief by doing so to an overaggressive ones; given the conditions permitting. It would be rather embarrassing for a BIG SUV owner to be left behind in a drag by a tiny car...I think. At times, I feel that such owners have ego bigger than the SUV itself....and the bigger the target, the easier it is to hit.

Last edited by saket77 : 25th January 2014 at 16:43.
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Old 25th January 2014, 17:11   #5
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Default re: SUVs & the Bullying effect: Myth or Reality?

I went with the first option because I am not one of those who believe that an SUV is compact sub 4 meter tortoise version of the real thing. It saddens me to see many manufacturers going this way. All models Ecosport, Duster, Terrano, Forestor, Yeti are not classified under the classic definition of 'SUV'. Anyone who claims these to be real SUV's I just look at them with a poker face while bursting out in laugher inside my head
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Old 25th January 2014, 17:35   #6
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I only move away when I can read letters in the ORVM, such as ambulance
If there is a very rashly driven vehicle behind me, I stay in my lane at my speed as people think they are in a video game.
Most of the times I have noted people in Fortuners, Dzires and Tempo travelers trying to bulldoze through traffic by flashing their lights or braking at the last minute. It is not really a SUV thing. Common sense, probably. But it isn't that common
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Old 25th January 2014, 17:41   #7
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Default re: SUVs & the Bullying effect: Myth or Reality?

Quote:
Originally Posted by saket77 View Post
And since, in our country, it is mostly a politico or a goon behind the wheel of the SUV; it aggravates the matter.
+1 Even I feel it's more to do with the perceived profile of owners/drivers than the car itself. One would normally associate a white SUV with white kurta-payjama wearing, gold chain + rings brandishing neta/their associates/goons. Thus, they would avoid getting entangled in an ego battle, and give way.

Another factor is bull-bars. With bull-bars, most of these SUVs don't care about minor nicks however, for a hatchback or sedan owners these nicks can be painful (emotionally).
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Old 25th January 2014, 17:59   #8
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Default re: SUVs & the Bullying effect: Myth or Reality?

There are SUVs and there are SUVs. It matters what is the look of the SUV in your rear view mirror. If it is looks cleam and is being driven safely, i would not get scared.

Example: A metallic blue Toyota Fortuner driven sedately with a couple on board would not be alarming. But a white Scorpio with a fancy number plate and a political sticker in the windshield would be scary.

It also matters how the driver is driving it. If it is flashing high beam, half on the other side trying to overtake, approaching rapidly and breaking, I would allow it to pass.

Maybe the SUV driver has to "GO" badly and is driving as fast as he can to reach a toilet before he messes his pants.
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Old 25th January 2014, 18:04   #9
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Default re: SUVs & the Bullying effect: Myth or Reality?

I think there should be another option on the poll:

Imagination of the driver who is *being followed* by the SUV.

I for one, do not get intimidated with Scorpios and Safaris when they are behind me, but some of my friend do get. So it depends on individual perspective, not of the person driving the SUV, but the person whom the SUV is following.
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Old 25th January 2014, 18:05   #10
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Default re: SUVs & the Bullying effect: Myth or Reality?

Yup, some cars do get more respect than the others on the road. I borrowed a friend's spark for a month while my car was down for repairs, and found I it a harder to make people in the oncoming side to give way than usual.

Driving in Indian roads is a classic game of chicken, and any form of signalling is subtle but effective.

PS: I drive around in a slightly battered white indica, and It's a lot easier to indulge in aggressive driving in it than most other hatchbacks. I'm guessing a bigger SUV should get you more street cred. The chances of me giving way would be much higher if the car on the other side is a SUV (especially a white one with a party flag), even if he/she were on the wrong side. Sad fact, but Might is right.

Last edited by greenhorn : 25th January 2014 at 18:08.
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Old 25th January 2014, 18:18   #11
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Default re: SUVs & the Bullying effect: Myth or Reality?

I recently shifted down from an Innova to a Polo and my view is that rashly driven smaller cars and bikes are not scared of cutting in front of a Polo, while this used happen less often in front of my Innova.
I don't think Innova is scary or intimidating in any way, but some one acting funny in front of an intimidating looking SUV aught to be much rarer.
Giving way is individual to individual, even in an Innova I used to giveway to some one who wanted to drive faster may be even an Nano or an M800.

Rahul
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Old 25th January 2014, 18:52   #12
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Default re: SUVs & the Bullying effect: Myth or Reality?

Ive been driving SUV type things for ages.
Strangely and probably contrarywise to a lot of people's experiences here, I have many times, actually quietly given way to an aggressively driven smaller car or van or other vehicle.
There are some half-wit drivers who drive their Marutis or Hyundais like they are on the Le Mans 24 hour circuit in Bangalore...I prefer to allow them to pass so that I may continue undisturbed.
There's a battered BR Reg Black SX4 driven by a woman - that's certainly no 'lady' going by the way she drives, her unnecessarily aggro behaviur on the road and supremely uncaring attitude towards other road users. She is a bad driver, period, going by the condition of the car, which has deteriorated steadily since I first noticed her about a year ago.
Even a few days ago, I was driving along to work when a highly aggro Honda City driver came up behind and honked and flashed his lights repeatedly while i was negotiating a particularly bad set of potholes near the Agara lake near my house and it took me some time to change lanes to the left and let him pass. He did pass me at speed and went bank-ker-plonk into the middle of a particularly nasty pothole. Serves him right I think!

SUV drivers do not have the monopoly on Aggressive behaviour. Many regular car drivers do too!
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Old 25th January 2014, 19:37   #13
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Default re: SUVs & the Bullying effect: Myth or Reality?

It is called Classical conditioning.
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Old 25th January 2014, 19:44   #14
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Default re: SUVs & the Bullying effect: Myth or Reality?

Its true that SUV drivers think they are some supreme breed. I was driving on NICE road from Tumkur road and I was passing two trucks. A XUV which was being driven very fast came behind and was flashing lights like mad. I was still passing the trucks and didn't want to change lanes until the trucks very behind me.
For his speed, he could have changed to the left lane just a little bit later but he wanted to send me to the left lane and only then pass me. I obliged since I want to have safe drivers around me and let these maniacs drive away.

But it doesnt mean all are like that but majority are.

Last edited by srishiva : 25th January 2014 at 19:45.
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Old 25th January 2014, 19:53   #15
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Default re: SUVs & the Bullying effect: Myth or Reality?

It's also more to do with the vehicle you are travelling in.

I drive a Swift and some SUVs (eg: Fortuner) does intimidate me. That's when you can see ONLY the grills / headlights in your IRVM and NOTHING else. If I can see the driver in the vehicle behind thru my IRVM, that doesn't scare me much.

I generally give way to any vehicle which is faster than me, and can be faster than mine (acceleration). So naturally, I give way to Safari / Scorpio usually. But I don't think I'll give way to a Duster / Ecosport unless they are really faster than me or if they try to bully me and all!
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