A common misperception with the safety of larger vehicles, like SUVs and trucks, is that they’re safer in car accidents. While higher weight is usually correlated with higher safety in accidents, one thing that is disconcerting is the distribution of weight in SUVs and trucks. While head-on collisions are traumatic accidents with high mortality rates, rollovers follow closely behind — a majority of them leading to fatalities. SUVs are dangerous because they have the highest likelihood of rolling in severe accidents. While a lot of factors play an important role in rollover odds, it’s important to understand why SUVs are so dangerous when it comes to rollovers.
Studies Show SUVs are More Likely to Get into a Rollover
When compared to sedans and other more compact vehicles, studies show that SUVs are more likely to get into a rollover. Once you analyze the cause more closely, it’s easier to understand why. With a narrow chassis base, or narrow body design of a car, along with the higher center of gravity found in SUVs, higher rates of rollovers are easy to explain. A lower center of gravity, like in sedans, would be harder to flip than a taller SUV that is heavy on top.
Design of SUVs
SUVs are designed to have a higher center of gravity because they’re designed to be higher off the ground. While this has its perks, like taking it off-roading, it’s not often considered when thinking about rollover safety. A wider car that’s lower to the ground is far less likely to get in a rollover accident. Trucks are also prone to rollovers, but not as dangerous as SUVs when you consider the weight difference. Vans, while worse than cars, are better than SUVs and trucks because they are generally lower to the ground.
Carelessness, Reckless Driving or Aggressive Driving
However, no one ever intends to get in a rollover accident, or any form of auto accident for that matter. Carelessness, reckless driving, or aggressive driving all are huge contributors to rollovers, and taking careful measures when driving can eliminate a lot of the risk.
Sometimes, however, it’s not the driver’s fault. Other drivers can pose a danger to you getting in a rollover accident.
Another cause is bad weather. With poor weather conditions like rain, sleet, snow, ice, etc., tires can lose traction in any vehicle and send it off course, and oftentimes off the road. It’s not uncommon to see rollovers in the median during bad snow storms, which usually isn’t the driver’s fault. Poor road conditions, like windy roads, or roads with debris and gravel, can cause a driver to spin off course. In all these auto accident scenarios, rollovers are often the final result.
Even without poor weather or road conditions, over correcting is a notable cause of rollovers. By swerving in one direction, then drastically swerving back to correct the original swerve, over correcting causes the tires to go the opposite direction than intended due to the momentum of the car. This shift in weight is what often causes rollovers, as we know that SUVs have a higher center of gravity.
When considering other negligent drivers causing rollovers to rollover, it is important to be mindful of other drivers on the road that might be reckless, aggressive, or even drunk driving. If you have been in an auto accident or rollover that wasn’t your fault, but the fault of another driver, contact an auto accident lawyer in your area that has dealt with similar cases in the past to make sure you get full compensation for your car and medical bills.