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Auto Accident SUV Rollovers
When you were buying an auto for yourself or a loved one, safety was probably a big factor, and if you decided on an SUV or other light truck, you probably thought they might be safer than other cars. An advertised rugged image and a sight line over other traffic give SUVs the impression of safety. But this type of vehicle is subject to one important risk that makes them unnecessarily dangerous: the likelihood of rollover accidents.
If you suffered an injury or lost a loved one in an SUV rollover or other auto accident in Alabama, the personal injury lawyers at Long & Waite, P.C. can help. Please call or email us today for a free case evaluation.
Are SUVs and Other Light Trucks Safer?
SUVs and other light trucks are almost as likely as heavy trucks to be involved in a fatal auto accident, according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). In 2008, the most recent year for which statistics are available, an SUV or light truck was involved in a fatal auto accident on average of 1.66 times per hundred million miles, compared to 1.79 for large trucks and only 1.29 for passenger autos. In a multi-vehicle accident between a passenger auto and an SUV or other light truck, the passengers in the auto may be twice as likely to die. If you are driving an SUV or other light truck, you are more likely to kill an occupant of another vehicle.
And although you are more likely to survive a multi-car crash, you are not any safer. The overall fatality rate for light trucks is 0.94 per 100 million vehicle miles traveled, compared to 0.92 for passenger cars, essentially the same.
SUVs become dangerous in rollover auto accidents, many of which are single-vehicle accidents. Rollover accidents account for nearly 60% of all SUV fatalities (compared to only 25% for passenger autos), and 83% of all rollover fatalities are in single-vehicle accidents.
What Makes SUVs Dangerous
SUVs are generally heavier than other passenger vehicles, which can make them safer for occupants and deadly for others in multi-auto crashes. Because their chassis is higher than passenger autos, their bumpers can ride over the reinforced protection zones of autos. But these characteristics make them dangerous to their own passengers and drivers as well.
Because it has a high center of gravity, an SUV is more likely to roll over with or without "tripping" during maneuvers or accidents. And, when an SUV rolls over, its size turns against its passengers. Many roofs are not built to withstand the force of the vehicle's full mass propelled at speeds common for rollover accidents.
If you have been injured or lost a loved one in an SUV rollover or other auto accident, the lawyers at Long & Waite, P.C. can help. Please contact us today for a free consultation.