SUV rollover accidents tend to cause more serious injuries and fatalities than those involving passenger vehicles. Many of them are avoidable when proper safe driving techniques are used. The risk of injury and death make it important for motorists to understand why these accidents occur. If you or a loved one have been injured in an SUV rollover, our accident attorneys can help.
SUVs are responsible for more fatalities – by some estimates, about 11,000 – than many people realize. Non-fatal accident injuries can still be serious. The unique design of a sport utility vehicle makes it more likely to be involved in a rollover accident. This design creates a higher center of gravity on top of a narrow wheelbase. As a result, SUVs are typically more top heavy and more unstable than passenger cars.
Because of this design, several driving behaviors are more likely to cause rollovers:
- Hitting a curb
- Veering to avoid an obstacle
- Sharp curves combined with speed
- Driving onto a soft shoulder or into a ditch
- Poor tire tread and tire blowouts
- Wet and icy road conditions
- Weight overload on the SUV
These and other conditions and behaviors can cause a driver to skid and over correct. This kind of reaction is not as dangerous in a passenger vehicle. But the top heavy nature of an SUV makes it more likely the vehicle will tip over.
When an SUV rolls over, one of several events may occur. The roof may collapse, violently crushing the passengers or forcing them into the ceiling and sides. The seat belts may malfunction, ejecting the passengers from the SUV. If the occupants remain inside the vehicle, they can be seriously injured or killed, especially if the seat belts fail.
Serious injuries resulting from an SUV rollover accident include the following:
- Bone fractures
- Head injuries
- Spinal cord and brain injuries
- Internal organ damage
- Loss of limbs
There are some safety tips you can adopt to make driving your SUV safer. For example:
Reduce your speed. All vehicles, especially SUVs, are at an increased risk of rollover when speeding. Speeding makes dangerous swerving more likely, and reduces reaction time to obstacles and curves.
Keep your tires properly inflated. Overinflated, underinflated, and worn tires limit your ability to control the SUV. This is especially true with worn tires, which are more likely to slide on wet road surfaces.
Avoid overcorrecting your steering. A rollover is much more likely to happen when you swerve and then overcorrect. Remember to steer calmly and don’t jerk the steering wheel from one direction to another.
Maintain a safe weight load. SUVs are already top heavy. Adding excessive weight, especially on top of the roof, increases the chances the SUV will tip over.
Of course, many SUVs are simply less safe because of design flaws. Automobile manufacturers have a responsibility to adopt reasonably safe design techniques for their vehicles. When manufacturers sell unsafe vehicles, or fail to recall them for known dangers, drivers are put at risk of injury. And in some tragic circumstances, drivers can lose their lives.
IF YOU’VE BEEN INJURED IN AN SUV ROLLOVER ACCIDENT, CALL US TODAY
SUV rollover accident victims will be faced with significant medical expenses, lost time from work, and other losses. These costs can quickly add up and cause financial problems on top of physical ones. Some family members also have to face the unfortunate loss of a loved one after an accident. Safe driving techniques can help. However, in many cases, flaws in the design of an SUV are to blame. If you’ve been injured in an automobile accident, let the dedicated attorneys of Schneider Hammers help. Call us today for a consultation.