Researched at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) have found that drivers tend to drive faster and more dangerously when they are behind the wheel of a Four-wheel drive. QUT researchers tested a group of drivers who regularly use four-wheel drives, as well as other cars, and found their driving habbit changed according to which car they were driving.
This is further proof of the obvious issues a 4WD vehicle has on the road, previous research conducted by the University of Queenslanad showed that 4WDs are the most likely to to be wielding a mobile phone while driving, and less likely to wear a seatbelt
Lead researcher for this QUT study Dr Andry Rakotonirainy said the 16 drivers were asked to travel a 24km route in Brisbane’s northside, including suburban streets and highway travel, and the results showed that drivers drove faster in the 4WDs.
Mr Rakotonirainy said they also braked harder in four-wheel drives and gave themselves less distance to stop even though they are in a vehicle which has longer stopping times than a regular sedan.
“At the moment there aren’t any programs that specifically teach people how to drive a four-wheel drive in suburbia – which is where most of them go,”
“But driving children to school in a four-wheel drive requires different skills to driving a sedan or smaller car.
“You have to take into consideration that you are driving a vehicle that is two to three times the weight of a normal car – and higher – and will therefore handle differently.” Mr Rakotonirainy said.
The research was conducted in the hope that it will help kick of increased driver education programs for four-wheel drive owners, who have higher rates of accidents than other vehicles.
“If we can use the technology to record evidence of particular behaviours drivers are more likely to accept what they might be doing wrong, It’s more difficult for people to argue with hard data than with subjective observations.” he said.
Well it should be no wonder to most people that 4WD drivers are a hazard on the road. More and more research only shows this to be a real fact and not just an opinion that many in the motoring world share. When will Australia wake up and ban 4WDs from citys and suburbs? There is no reason anyone needs to drive a 4WD in the city and the suburbs. The selfish needs of 4WD drivers to feel more secure only puts the life of all other motorists at risk.