SUV Rollovers Causes and Tips
In the early 1980’s Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs) became known for a higher incidence of rollovers. A reason for this higher incidence is due in part to the higher profile design of SUVs. Rollover crashes result in 36% more passenger injuries than non-rollover accidents, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration.
When an SUV is steered hard to avoid a predictable danger, it can increase the chance of the vehicle to rollover. Other causes of SUV rollovers are associated with auto defects, such as weak roofs and safety restraint system failures. By manufacturer’s adopting new SUV standards, auto industry and federal government data shows that the risk of rollovers could be substantially decreased. A study conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety showed that when auto makers lower SUVs from the ground by just an inch, deaths decrease by almost half.
The majority of SUV rollover accidents occur after the vehicle runs off the road. This situation is generally the result of the driver losing control of the vehicle. A ditch, soft soil, curb or other factor can initiate the rollover accident once the SUV is off the pavement. The reason is that rollover crashes result in more head injury and vehicle ejections.
Common Causes of SUV Rollovers
Combine a high center of gravity with a comparatively narrow wheel-to-wheel ratio and you have an SUV rollover accident waiting to happen. It’s simple physics. Considering the state of the auto industry in today’s economic climate, it’s not likely that auto makers will be making many redesigns. So, here’s a look at other causes for SUV rollovers:
- Auto parts malfunction
- Tire blowouts
- Driver error
Rollover Tips That Could Save Your Life
Many disastrous injuries can occur during an SUV rollover crash, including spinal cord injuries, multiple fractures and brain injuries. Roof collapse, along with window and windshield failure, can aggravate the extent of rollover injuries.
However, here are a few tips to help avoid an SUV rollover crash:
- Buy smart – check rollover statistics of the SUV you are considering and avoid buying a taller vehicle with narrower distance between the back two tires
- Drive an SUV like an SUV – passenger vehicles don’t drive like SUVs, so take the time to learn the braking, handling and acceleration on an SUV
- Drive safely – most rollover crashes occur when an SUV leaves a main road, so drive with caution and avoid any cell phone use that is not hands-free
- Be weather aware – driving in snow, rain or fog, as well as driving on rural roads with more potholes will increase your chances of a rollover
- Avoid over correction – over steering when you run off the edge of a road may cause your SUV to lose balance and roll
- Maintain your SUV – tire maintenance is especially important on an SUV, so check tire pressure often for a balanced air fill on all tires
- Balance your load – if you carry heavy or large items in your SUV, make sure that they are balanced from one side of the car to the other, because centrifugal force is a big factor in rollover crashes
- Always wear seatbelts – when an SUV rolls, your chances of serious injury or death are higher with any full and partial vehicle eviction.