SUV Safety and Preventing Rollover Accidents

Rollover Accident

If you've never driven an SUV before, there are certain risks you should know about. If you have driven one, you probably know them all too well. Rollovers are more common among sport utility vehicles because SUVs' narrow bodies and tall heights can cause rolls when winds pick up or if the vehicle turns too sharply. Situations like these make for some of the scariest accidents imaginable.

Here's an all-too-common SUV rollover question…

I was seriously injured in a rollover accident while riding in a friend's sport utility vehicle. My friend was driving carefully when the SUV rolled over. Who pays for my injuries and medical bills?

It is possible for an SUV to roll over even when the driver is driving carefully. From this description, drivers sometimes have a products liability case against the manufacturer of the SUV. If you were in a rollover accident, it's important to know your rights and the manufacturer's responsibilities.

Vehicle Safety Ratings and Crashworthiness

Protect yourself—know the difference between vehicle safety ratings and crashworthiness.

Vehicle Safety Ratings: This includes equipment or features used to prevent accidents from happening at all, such as anti-lock brakes and vehicle handling design.

Since SUVs, light trucks, and vans have high centers of gravity, these vehicles are "top-heavy". As a result, SUVs, light trucks, and vans are more likely to roll over than other passenger vehicles.

But, SUVs, light trucks, and vans may be more "crashworthy" than other vehicles in their class. Keep in mind, vehicle crashworthiness is not the same as vehicle safety.

Crashworthiness: This is the ability of your vehicle to prevent injury in the event of an accident. Vehicle crashworthiness includes items like air bags, seat belts, crumple zones, side impact protection, and head rests.

Did You Know?
Buying a car loaded with safety features can do more than just protect you and your passengers in an accident. Insurance companies appreciate investments in safety and may reduce your premiums. Also, safety features increase the resale value of your car.

Let our firm help you get the compensation you need after a frightening accident. Check out these tips on what to do after an accident and how our firm can help you.

Sources: Lundegaard, Karen. "Auto-Safety Czar Warns Drivers of SUV Dangers". The Wall Street Journal. 15 January 2003. Hakim, Danny. "S.U.V.'s Take a Hit, as Traffic Deaths Rise." The New York Times. 27 April 2003.