A growing wave of anti-SUV sentiment in the US has apparently prodded the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers to fight back.

According to Reuters, researchers at the University of Michigan and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory yesterday announced a study that found that SUVs are the most dangerous cars on the road for all drivers – a not-so-surprising conclusion considering the size of the vehicles and the impact they have on smaller vehicles in a crash.

As an example of what the US motor industry is also coming up against, a newspaper recently reported that a pro-environment group plastering anti-SUV propaganda designed to look like parking tickets on New York vehicles even targets small and relatively environment-friendly Toyota RAV4s.

Journalists have today been offered soundbites and ‘background’ video supporting SUVs along with the results of a new RL Polk study claimed to find that SUVs “are increasingly popular because of their safety during hazardous weather conditions and for their overall versatility”.

The press material claims that Americans last year purchased almost 600,000 more SUVs, minivans, vans and pickups than passenger cars and that SUVs are some of the best selling vehicles in America.

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The study also claims that over 25% of SUV owners feel that this type of vehicle is “ideal for their active lifestyle” (would any vehicle owner admit he or she made a dumb choice?) while another 24% indicating they “feel very safe” in an SUV.

Additionally, more than 79% of SUV owners reported using their SUVs in harsh weather where vehicle control may be difficult, the Polk study claims.

Picking up on the northern hemisphere back-to-school theme, the report adds that 47% percent of female SUV owners reported “sometimes or frequently” using their SUV to drop children off at school or daycare and over 36% reported this way to transporting one child in a car seat.

Unsaid is the likely retort that if a SUV is “mum’s car”, it would be used for the school run, would it not?

Alliance CEO Josephine Cooper said in a statement: “In the 70s and 80s it was the station wagon, in the 90s it was the minivan, nowadays SUVs have becomes America’s family vehicle.”

The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers is a trade association of 13 car and light truck manufacturers who account for more than 90% of U.S. vehicle sales. Member companies include BMW Group, DaimlerChrysler, Fiat, Ford Motor Company, General Motors, Isuzu, Mazda, Mitsubishi Motors, Nissan, Porsche, Toyota, Volkswagen and Volvo.