Why should consumers be more aware with regard to SUV rollovers?
While rollovers are not as prevalent as other kinds of accidents, they often result in serious injuries or death. There are more than 10,000 SUV rollover fatalities in the United States each year. In fact, SUV rollover accidents account for more fatalities than for side and rear collisions combined. Armed with this knowledge, consumers are likelier to demand improved safety features and safer designs from SUV manufacturers.
Why are SUV’s so likely to roll over in a collision?
During an accident or sudden movement, the forces that act on a passenger car tend to be transferred into a slide out. But an SUV’s higher center of gravity makes it likelier that some of this energy will be converted into rotational forces. Even during an evasive maneuver that does not involve a collision, an SUV’s higher center of gravity is displaced, causing the vehicle to become unstable and possibly roll over.
What are some factors that contribute to an SUV rollover?
Some of the more significant factors that increase the likelihood of an SUV rollover include:
- A high rate of speed
- The absence of protective barriers on the road
- Weather conditions such as snow, rain, or wet leaves
- Old age and poor quality of the SUV’s tires including spare tires
- A driver under the influence of drugs or alcohol
Why don’t SUV manufacturers make their vehicles safer?
SUV’s with stability control systems have been shown to have less of a propensity to roll over. The majority of SUV’s lack these systems however. A lower center of gravity and a wider wheel track can also increase the stability of SUV’s, making them likelier to slide out than to roll over. But these design changes can be costly, so SUV manufacturers are reluctant to make them.
I’ve been involved in an SUV rollover accident, what can I do so others don’t have to suffer a similar fate?
First make sure that you receive proper medical attention. Even if it appears that your injuries are not serious, be aware that some injuries suffered in rollover accidents may not reveal symptoms until weeks, or even months after the accident occurred.
Consider consulting with an experienced SUV rollover attorney. Not only can an experienced SUV rollover attorney improve your chances of receiving compensation for damages you have suffered, an attorney who specializes in SUV rollover accidents can demonstrate to the court that minor design modifications can make SUVs less prone to roll over. By making it costlier for SUV manufacturers to do business as usual, SUV makers are likelier to see not only ethical, but also economic benefits to making their vehicles safer.
If you have additional questions regarding SUV rollovers, we can refer you to an experienced SUV rollover accident attorney near you. Please contact us soon after the accident, however, because most states have statutes of limitations, or time limits by which a claim must be filed. An experienced SUV rollover attorney will also need to investigate the scene of the accident before evidence such as skid marks, scrapes and gouges on the roadway deteriorates.