The sport utility vehicle, or SUV, is a popular automobile in the United States and made up nearly a third of total automobile sales in 2012. As these cars become more dominant on the roadways, accidents occurring with these vehicles will rise as well. One major problem with these vehicles is their tendency to roll over in certain types of accidents. This can pose additional problems for drivers and others on the road who have to adjust to their driving behavior to account for the instance of a rollover in an automobile accident. In 2003 over a third of fatal SUV crashes included a rollover. Most accidents involved a single vehicle, usually a male driver under 25.
HOW DO SUVs ROLLOVER?
There is a direct relationship between the incidence of a rollover and the SUV’s stability in turns. Other factors to consider include the center of gravity of the vehicle and the distance between the left and right wheels. When the center of gravity is higher with a narrower wheel distance the likelihood of a rollover increases during sharp turns or sudden changes in the direction of the vehicle.
Fortunately there have been changes and improvements to the design and construction of these vehicles to reduce this propensity. One such improvement is the development of electronic stability systems. These systems function by detecting when a rollover is happening and then intervene to stop it. Cars have also been designed with a lower center of gravity, improving their stability, as more SUVs are being designed from a car frame than a truck frame. These improvements are a step in the right direction, however, no SUV has a 5-star rating and as of 2010 rollovers were stubbornly high with fifty-seven percent of fatalities involving a rollover.
Given these factors, it is imperative to employ other vehicle safety features to minimize the incidence of a fatality. Seatbelts, multi-location airbags, antilock brakes, and head restraints are features that a buyer should ensure are on any SUV they purchase. Additionally, there are other protections available. Many are equipped with blind spot and sonar parking assistant systems, to help these drivers with the huge blind spot issues.
It is also not recommended to purchase an SUV for young or inexperienced drivers. A large percentage of rollovers involve a single driver. Combine that with inexperience, distractions and other driving behaviors and these vehicles can become even more dangerous.
For those who unfortunately become involved in an accident, it is important to seek medical help immediately. Call the police to document the incident. Comply with all instructions and provide all information necessary. If you were hit by another driver and injuries were sustained, it is important to also seek a personal injury attorney for a consultation. You may be entitled to compensation and an attorney can navigate through the process of dealing with the insurance companies.
This article is for informational purposes only and is not to be construed as legal advice. Your case may be different. Consult an attorney in your area for further guidance. If you were injured in an accident involving an SUV rollover, please call one of our attorneys at David K. Kremin & Associates, and we will give you a free consultation. We never charge unless we collect for you. Please call 1(800) ASK-A-LAWYER or 1(800)275-2529.