SUV Rollover Accidents
There are risks involved in driving an SUV, knowing the risk may help prevent SUV rollover accidents.
During a rollover accident, the vehicle turns over on its side or roof. This usually occurs when the vehicle is moving too fast or making a sharp turn. Although cars can rollover too, rollover accidents occur with SUVs much more often. Since SUVs have a higher center of gravity than most vehicles, they are top heavy. The center of gravity is one of the most important factors in determining a SUV rollover. With a high center-of-gravity and a comparatively narrow track, such vehicles are relatively unstable. To rectify this, either the center-of-gravity needs to be lowered or the wheel track widened.
There is a common misconception that if you add more weight to an SUV it will stabilize it, when in fact, the opposite is true. More weight increases the chance of an SUV rolling over. Because SUVs are supposed to be able to carry a heavy load and lots of equipment, they are increasing becoming family cars instead of being used as off-road vehicles. Since SUVs are being used more as family cars there is an increasing concern about their safety, especially the earlier models. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) began looking into the safety of SUVs several years ago. Safety engineers and experts agree that the best way to make these vehicles safer is to lower the center of gravity and widen the wheel track. However, this is expensive and manufacturers have been slow to make this change.
SUVs were initially intended for off-roading and were equipped with roll protection. However, when SUVs began to be used as family cars, they were starting to be manufactured without the roll bars but the center-of-gravity and wheel track remained the same. The removal of roll bars coupled with the fact that everything else remained the same made SUVs more prone to rolling over and the accidents much more fatal. Needless to say, SUV rollover accidents are very dangerous. Wearing your seat belt during a rollover accident may reduce the risk of death by 75%.
SUVs have the highest rate of deaths occurring in rollovers. Cars such as the Ford Explorer, Toyota 4 Runner, Isuzu Rodeo, and Honda Passport have been involved in SUV rollovers that have ended up in serious injuries and death. SUV rollovers are almost three times more likely to occur than the average passenger car.
All SUV manufacturers are required to place the following warning in each sport utility vehicle by the driver: SUV WARNING LABEL
"This is a multipurpose passenger vehicle which will handle and maneuver differently from an ordinary passenger car, in driving conditions which may occur on streets and highways and off road. As with other vehicles of this type, if you make sharp turns or abrupt maneuvers, the vehicle may roll over or may go out of control and crash. You should read driving guidelines and instructions in the Owner's Manual, and wear your seat belt at all times."
Need help for your injury? Please contact the Georgia car accident lawyers of The Angell Law Firm at (770) 217-4954.