is a bit dated but it does show that 4WD (SUV's in America, what American's call 4WDs are called AWDs in Australia) are ever so slightly more likely to be involved in a fatal crash. That might not be you, but you know, you've bought a car that's more likely to kill someone
As far as safety goes it looks like 4WDs are about as safe as large cars, only a bit less because they handle worse and have a ~20% greater chance of tipping in an accident. Tipping causes the roof to collapse which causes the people in the car to die.
is an excellent site, and a great resource on cars. To be perfectly honest, I had a pretty unkind view on 4WD users, and the stats have basically softened my views somewhat. I mean, most 4WDs are actually out in the west (far west, past Campbelltown) and a bunch of people defending 4WD use are those that use it because they actually are living in an area where going off-road is pretty much an all-the-time activity. Those guys and tradesmen actually make up a huge chunk of 4WD users, and that's cool and all.
The other bunch of people who buy 4WDs are those in the east. This link
gives a nice map we can all look at, and we can see a bunch of people near the coast who drive 4WDs. The really creepy part is that near North Sydney and east of Berowra there's a greater percentage of 4WDs than out in Richmond or past Campbelltown. The link explains that these people are "affluent" (which I think means they smell bad) and can afford the petrol prices. The cars are used as people movers, but they don't want to get actual people movers because they're not as "extreme".
They also poison trees not on their property to get a better view of the ocean. They get pissed off when their more affluent neighbour adds another story to their house to ruin their perfect view. You know who's at the center of their universe? That's right, it's the Queen.
Fucking imperial system of measurement.