A rollover is a serious accident that doesn’t happen frequently. Although rollovers occur in approximately 3 percent of all serious crashes, they’re responsible for about 30 percent of vehicle passenger fatalities. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) states that of all vehicle types, SUVs have the highest rollover involvement rate in crash fatalities—28 percent for SUVs, 25 percent for pickup trucks, and 15 percent for vans and cars.
How Rollovers Happen
Under the right circumstances, it’s possible for any vehicle to roll over. However, vehicles that are narrower and taller—vans, pickups, and SUVs—are more likely to roll than cars because their center of gravity is higher, making them more top-heavy. When you drive a vehicle around a curve, that center of gravity shifts to one side, and this can severely impact the balance of the vehicle. Also, when a driver makes a sharp turn and then overcorrects by turning the other way, lateral forces increase. The transition can create a “pendulum effect” with bigger and bigger swings resulting in a loss of control.
4 Ways You Can Help Prevent an SUV Rollover Accident
If you own an SUV, there are positive steps you can take to avoid a rollover accident. Safe driving and these four tips can help:
- Check and replace tires. When tires are inflated, worn, or flat, they interfere with a driver’s ability to control a vehicle and increase the risk of a rollover. Check tires regularly, and replace them every six years.
- Check for load limits. Consult the vehicle owner’s guide for weight limits and proper load distribution. When SUVs are loaded with excess weight riding above its center of gravity—for example, with equipment or luggage—it’s easier for them to tip. Additionally, heavy loads can impact how a vehicle handles and performs, and stopping distances may be increased.
- Practice safe driving behavior. Speed and steering impact the risk of SUV rollover accidents. Avoid speeding and making sudden steering maneuvers at high speed. Gradually slow down before making sharp turns.
- Be aware of road conditions. Be careful driving when it’s raining, snowing, or icy or when you’re traveling on unpaved rural roads. Bad road conditions increase the chance of an SUV rollover accident. Slow down, and drive with caution.
It is a good idea to check the rollover rating of your SUV at the NHTSA website. If you are thinking about purchasing an SUV, consider the newest model, which has the latest updates and safest systems in place.
Were You Injured in an SUV Rollover Accident in the Greater Atlanta Area?
Most SUV drivers don’t expect to be involved in a rollover accident, but it can happen. If you have been hurt or need more information about your family’s rights after an SUV rollover accident, do not hesitate to reach out to us. Our skilled legal team will be happy to discuss your case in a free, confidential review.