SUV owners; distribution of HUA?

Mike Salovesh t20mxs1 at CORN.CSO.NIU.EDU
Tue Jan 18 10:22:01 UTC 2000

"A. Vine" wrote:
> I have not quoted Mike's diatribe against people who drive SUVs.
> Thank you, Mike.  I drive one.  I have found it infinitely more useful than a
> flatbed or a sedan.  The 4-wheel drive is great in bad weather when the back
> isn't loaded down, and the 4-wheel drive low has taken me through 3-ft. of snow
> when I would otherwise have been stuck.


Whoa!  I freely admit the justice of your characterization of my message
as a diatribe.  But please go back to read where I directed it:

> A vehicle that carries the driver's briefcase as the only passenger,
> does all its miles within the limits of a major city, comes on a truck
> frame with a monster engine, and is equipped with 4-wheel drive and a
> winch adds up to a horrible case of road-overkill.  Add air conditioning
> and Dolby Surround Sound and you get yet another demonstration that
> mutual interaction ends up with pets and their owners looking like each
> other.
> In the case of the typical SUV, both truck and owner could serve as
> demonstration models for schizophrenic dementia.

In context, I thought it was clear that the "typical" SUV I had in mind
was one that is never used as an SUV, whose driver knows nothing about
driving a truck.  Remember, I started by saying:

> I suppose trucks is good, but only if you'll admit a disclaimer.  Trucks
> is good when they're used for trucking jobs and driven by somebody who
> knows how.

Your description of what you do with your SUV appears to justify two

1.  Lots of what you do with your SUV just can't be done with a
passenger car.
2.  You know how to drive it.  What's more, you know that driving your
SUV is
    NOT the same thing as driving a passenger car.

You go on to say:

> I am pretty sick of wanton SUV bashing.

I thought I was being more directed than wanton.  I'm sick of
exhibitionists who buy and drive SUVs when they are never used for any
purpose that calls for the special capabilities of SUVs.  The ones who
sicken me even more are the folks who drive SUV's and prove, by
foolishly getting into incredible jams, that they have no idea that SUVs
should be driven as if they were trucks, not passenger cars.

Worst of all, I'm REALLY sick of city drivers who drive their SUVs as
weapons of intimidation.

You also said:

> There are just as many idiots driving
> BMW sedans, Volvo wagons, and Honda Civics.

You are absolutely right. I'll elaborate on that in a postscript.

My diatribe against inexperienced city drivers in SUVs that never leave
city streets except to enter parking lots is about the drivers, not
their vehicles.

To return to dialect questions: We all know about the standard traffic
violation whose routine abbreviation is DWI/DUI (driving while
intoxicated or driving under the influence of alcohol).

Has anybody else heard of the abbreviation HUA, as in "driver was HUA
and proceeded . . . "?

My brother  lives in Orange County, California, where he used to be a
Deputy City Attorney for Anaheim.  He says that he used to see HUA
written on occasional police accident reports.  Since retirement, he has
been teaching law at a police academy; he says HUA is in common use
among Orange County and Los Angeles County and city police.

I'm asking this as a distribution question.  I've asked local cops here
in De Kalb County, Illinois, who say they hadn't heard that one until I
brought it up . . .

HUA, a reference to unbelievable stupidity on the road, means "Head Up

-- mike salovesh                    <salovesh at>

Several times a year -- sometimes several times a month -- I work with
the  De Kalb County Radio Watch. We're a group of trained volunteers who
direct traffic when it gets heavier than local and sheriff's police can
handle.  During the five days of our county fair, the oldest and largest
in Illinois, we direct thousands and thousands of cars into and/or
around the fair grounds each day.  Then there's the annual Pumpkin
Parade and Festival in Sycamore, which brings in tens of thousands of
visitors if the weather is good; De Kalb's Corn Fest, which rivals the
Pumpkin Parade; and annual 10 kilometer runs, where somebody has to keep
the vehicular idiots from driving straight through the runners.  We also
get called out to handle traffic around occasional multi-car smashups
and other local disruptions, to free up the officers who are trained to
handle the more difficult problems of the emergencies themselves.  We've
been trained in weather spotting, and we're called out for storm
watching and tornado spotting as part of the County Emergency Services
team.  When the local roads are closed for weather emergencies
(dangerous blowing and drifting snow, or total lack of visibility in
low-lying fog, or local flooding) our job is to turn back the suicidal
drivers who insist that their urgent need to get somewhere else is so
great that it's worth risking their lives and the lives of the rescue
teams that will have to pull them out.

You and I, like anyone else who ever gets on the road as driver or
passenger, owe our lives to the fact that most drivers are sensible and
careful most of the time.  But when you direct eight hours of very heavy
traffic, the percentages mean that you get to see a lot of total idiocy
in the way some people drive.

It's a great object lesson.  You don't have to tell Radio Watch folks
that the biggest hazard on the road is the purely mechanical one of
breakdowns in the nut behind the wheel. We see HUA driving all the time.

We drive defensively, as if our lives depend on it -- because they do.

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