According to the federal Consumer Protection Safety Commission (CPSC), about 40% of Americans admit to believing that SUVs are safer than regular cars. Yet, they fail to consider that SUVs rollover far more often than other vehicles. According to the National Traffics Safety Administration (NTSA), rollovers occurred in about 37% of SUV crashes - compared with only 15% of passenger car crashes.
SUV Car Accident Facts
The Insurance Information Institute recently released information showing that SUVs had the highest occupant fatality rate of any other vehicle in rollover crashes, with more than 10,000 people killed in SUV accidents each year.
While having several passengers can make a low-riding sedan even more stable, high-riding sport utility vehicles become even more unstable with extra occupants*.
Originally designed and marketed for off road use, certain SUVs were manufactured with various flaws. These flaws include high suspension, high centers of gravity, and narrow wheelbases. The above flaws combined with top heavy designs make SUVs particularly susceptible to rollovers when a driver is forced to make an evasive maneuver at highway speed.
SUV's That Are Less Prone to Rollovers
Common sense and routine maintenance can greatly increase your odds of avoiding a rollover and walking away from one if it happens.
New Vehicles are safer. Government data indicates that newer vehicles have a much lower fatality rate than older models. Especially important are electronic stability control and side-curtain air bags.
Safety belts help keep you in the seat so you are not tossed around in a rollover crash. About half of rollover fatalities occur when people are partly or completely ejected from the vehicle.
Check the tires, make sure they are in good shape and properly inflated to the pressure recommended by the vehicle manufacturer. Check the inflation pressure at least once a month. Replacement tires should be similar to the vehicle's original set.
Don't overload. Overloading any vehicle, particularly SUVs and pickups, decreases its stability. The worst practice is to place heavy loads on the roof.
Slow Down. Speed makes a vehicle's tendency to roll over more severe, and it also makes more demands on a driver's attention and skill.
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