Strange choice by Volvo. Usually, they just run the biker over; its much safer than trying to avoid us and possibly losing control of their SUV. I am actually surprised it doesn't say that in the owners manual. "If confronted by an obstacle smaller than you, just hit it. You're in a Volvo!"
Just saw it this morning, and was about to notify MO. This is just another typical knock on motorcyclist, brain dead ad agencies, and a company that prides itself on safety turning its back on promoting safety.
I wrote to the AMA PR guy, Tom Lindsay. He sent me a note back that the AMA has received several calls/emails from members about this ad. They already contacted Volvo and received the following response:
"The "Motorcycle" advertisement for the XC90 was created to illustrate the characteristics of the world's first Roll Stability Control system. Addressing SUV rollover risk from an active safety perspective was a primary goal of Volvo in designing the XC90.
Volvo attempted to provide a demonstration in which a driver may need to use quick judgment to avoid sudden objects or other vehicles on the road, a common cause of SUV rollovers. It was certainly not our intention to single out motorcyclists or to portray them in a negative light and we deeply regret if the ad offended any viewers. Volvo encourages all vehicle operators, 2-wheel or 4, to operate their vehicles in a safe manner and to obey all motor vehicle laws.
Thank you for taking the time to share your comments and allowing us the opportunity to respond."
And I will write Volvo, to stop portraying the "problem children" of the road as the "solutions". Show the SUV driver as a mindless slug cutting off a motorcyclist, and then dropping the cell phone, while taking evasive action to prevent another "I didn't see him" accident. Reality check for Volvo.
You're wrong. I care, and I back up that caring with action, and so do many here. Getting the word out is the first step, and then writing those involved and getting results is next. Look what happened to Senator Deadbrain and his organ donor law.
Actually Volvo, the best technology for accident avoidance is buying a smaller, lighter, lower, better-handling car. Oh, and not being a dumbarse. But I don't suppose they could charge 40 large for that. Better to just portray motorcyclists as marauding hooligans to make every faux-ecowise soccer ho feel all warm and squishy about her brand new 4-wheeled lifestyle affirmation machine.
I saw that ad too. I really believe Volvo was just trying to show there anti-sway. And c'mon, what's with the righteous indignation? Don't tell me you guys don't regularly see squidly bike riding where you live.. Just a month ago some kid on what appeared to be an F3/4 blew my doors off, passing me (on my bike) on the inside of a highway on-ramp at probably 80mph+. I bet we've all seen plenty of in-traffic wheelie riding and guys running 100mph using cars like slalom cones. A small percentage of bikers have given us a pretty universal reputation for carelessness and recklessness that the Volvo ad campaign guys are taking advantage of.
So save the P.C. boo-hooing about being "offended" and crying that Volvo should remove the ad. Just keep paying your AMA dues and riding like you have some sense and let your actions and AMA lobbyists do the talking.
All this said, I do think it's highly ironic that they're showing a biker as a danger to an SUV when my personal statistics have the facts to be just the opposite.
Stop whinning. It's just an ad. Are you going to tell me you're lowering yourself to the insane P.C. level of the Parrot lovers society who sent in complaint letters to Quiznos for using a dead parrot in their ad? Or the rabbit lovers who did the same to Subaru for using a rabbit? Or the people who complain about a cartoon because they think it portrays them in some negaative light? Etc, Etc, Etc.
The idiots I see riding every day splitting lanes, cutting off traffic, going twice the speed limit, doing wheelies, etc. do more to give us a negative image than a single ad from Volvo will ever do. You want to know where Volvo got the idea from? Go to Palomar mountain or your local version of it and count the motorcyclist that get carted off in a medevac helicopter every weekend. We do it to ourselves.
I think the Volvo ad is quite misleading. It gives the impression that because of the anti-roll system you can throw this SUV around like a sports car. However, the handling or lateral G force is still limited by the basic design parameters such as center of gravity, track width, tire traction, etc. All the anti-roll system does is stop you from getting to the a predetermined lateral G force limit by applying the brakes individually as deemed necessary by a computer. While this is certainly good for the Volvo driver it may not be good for everyone else.
Imagine another scenario. Volvo SUV driver with cell phone to his ear and a burger in one hand is driving down a mountain road. At one point it gradually becomes apparent to him that maybe he should divert a little larger percentage of his brain away from the conversation and eating to the other thing he is doing driving. But its too late. Hes come in way too hot to a right hand hairpin bend. He drops the burger, brakes hard and yanks the steering wheel. A very clever computer in the anti-roll system performs several hundred calculations in a microsecond and determines that rollover is imminent. It applies the brakes to various wheels and the Volvo is forced to run wider on the turn on a larger radius, thereby limiting the G force and rollover is avoided. Just at that moment, a motorcyclist happens to be coming the other way and is hit head-on and instantly killed. Luckily for the Volvo driver, had he been in his previous SUV, a Jeep, it would have rolled off the road in an instant. And a motorcycle rider would have ridden quietly by not believing his eyes.
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