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The why and how of SUV rollover accidents


When sports utility vehicles are involved in motor vehicle accidents, they often end up rolling over because of their higher centers of gravity. SUV owners in Oklahoma may or may not already know this fact, but becoming aware of the problem and the potential for injury and death from a rollover is critically important. For decades the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has examined the causes and consequences of a variety of motor vehicle accidents, including SUV accidents, and has made a number of findings.

First, most people who have been killed in rollover crashes were not wearing restraints or seatbelts. Without such protection, a vehicle occupant can easily be ejected from a vehicle; and ejections are often fatal. Second, most deadly rollover accidents involved just a single vehicle. A leading cause of a single-vehicle accident is intoxicated or impaired driving. Third, rollover crashes are common not only among SUVs, but also among light trucks. From 1991 to 2001 SUV rollovers doubled, and they have continued to increase ever since.

Defective parts also contribute to some rollover accidents. An SUV that is hard to maneuver during a sharp turn may have an equipment problem that needs to be addressed. To avoid accidents, SUV owners should always look over their vehicles before they hit the road and make sure major systems, such as brakes, transmission and suspension, are in good working order. Anyone who is injured in an accident or the families of anyone killed in an accident may be entitled to compensation if an investigation shows that faulty parts were installed in a vehicle. Only a thorough investigation can determine whether this is the case.

Source: Dot.gov, "Characteristics of fatal rollover crashes," Accessed on Dec. 10, 2014

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