Brad Pistotnik Law
Abogado El Toro

Are SUV's More Likely to Rollover?

Are SUVs more likely to rollover than other vehicles? What vehicle safety measures can drivers take to reduce the risk of toppling over while driving? Vehicle rollovers are not the most common type of automobile accident, however, they are among the deadliest. Motorists should know the risks and take active steps to reduce the possibility of experiencing a rollover in their SUV.

In 2016, 7,488 occupants of passenger vehicles died in rollover accidents. Of these accidents, 28% did not involve any other type of impact that caused the vehicle to roll. Vehicle rollovers accounted for 31% of all automobile accident fatalities, and 52% of all single-vehicle accident fatalities. Data gathered by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety also shows that vehicle rollovers are less common, and less fatal in multi-vehicle accidents with only 13% of these accidents resulting in a fatality.

The rates of vehicle rollovers have risen and fallen over the past 40 years. In 1978, 9,350 lives were lost in rollover accidents. That number fell steadily until the mid-1980's when SUV's and ever larger pickups were introduced to the market. Throughout the 1990's and 2000's, IIHS data shows a strong correlation between a vibrant economy, SUV/large truck purchases, and spikes in the number of fatalities caused by SUV rollovers.

In 2016, single-vehicle rollovers involving SUV's accounted for 36% of SUV occupant deaths and 34% of fatalities in pickups. This was nearly double the rate of 18% for single vehicle deaths involving passenger automobiles. Nationwide, the number of single-vehicle rollover fatalities rose 1% over 2015, yet it remains 25% less than the number who died in 1978. One reason for this are improved vehicle safety features including side airbags and stronger reinforcement on the roof of vehicles that provide greater protection to passengers during a rollover.

Brad Pistotnik Law has taken on many serious injuries regarding rollover accidents. In recent cases, a young lady died after being thrown out of the window and then being crushed by the vehicle. Another case resulted in head injuries, pelvic injuries, a fractured leg requiring surgery and this pretty young lady has one of the worst facial scars I have seen in a long time.

SUV's are indeed more likely to rollover due to their tall, narrow profile. This creates a higher center of gravity for SUV's and similar vehicles including trucks and vans. The greater the speed, the sharper the turn and/or the steeper the curve, the more likely the driver can lose control over the vehicle's direction and topple over. Up to 95% of SUV rollovers are caused by "tripping." Tripping can occur when the vehicle rolls over a pothole, jumps a curb, or rolls onto a soft shoulder. These actions can cause sudden shifts to the vehicle's center of gravity causing it to rollover before the driver can react and adjust the vehicle's direction.

Interestingly, some vehicle safety features may work against drivers of SUV's. Consumer Reports investigations have determined that tires with superior tread may actually be at greater risk of toppling. This is because as the tread of the tire can actually build up excessive sideways forces. This can effectively pull the vehicle over. One way to improve vehicle safety in this regard is to inflate tires to less than their maximum allowed rating and allow tires to lose some of their tread. However, these actions can cause other problems that can lead to accidents. Other steps drivers can take include not overloading the vehicle, reducing their speed, and insisting on seatbelts for all vehicle occupants, and purchasing SUV's that are equipped with electronic stability systems that improve vehicle safety and lower the risk of a rollover.

Brad Pistotnik Law represents clients who have experienced an SUV rollover in Topeka, Kansas City, Salina, Arkansas City, Abiline,Wichita, Garden City, Goodland, Dodge City, Salina, Liberal, Emporia, Colby, Hays, Winfield, Independence, Coffeyville, Hutchinson, El Dorado, Newton, McPherson, Wellington, Arkansas City and elsewhere in Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Illinois. Our firm will thoroughly investigate the causes of the rollover and pursue damages for the medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other expenses that result from an automobile accident. We offer a free consultation with no upfront costs. We only get paid if you get a recovery..

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