Hunting, Fishing, Cars and Travels!
Article by Patricia Woloch
Sports utility vehicle (SUV) rollover accidents are occurring more frequently as the vehicles grow in popularity. In 2000, 36% of all fatal motor vehicle crashes involved SUV rollovers. Today 25% of motor vehicles purchased in the US are SUVs. Rollovers are not as common as other types of accidents, but when they occur they are much more likely to cause catastrophic injury and death.
SUVs Roll by Design
SUVs are more likely to roll than other vehicles by the nature of their design. They were not originally intended for everyday driving, but were designed for use in off-road conditions. Some of the unique design aspects which give them an off-road advantage also make them more likely to roll on the highway and in town:
High clearance creating a high center of gravity
Tall and narrow
Increasingly top heavy as passengers are added, because of the high center of gravity
Safety Features Not Always Standard
Design features, such as high clearance, are integral to the SUV concept, but as their primary use has changed from off-road to normal passenger conditions, safety features which were once standard have become optional on the vehicles. Roll bars, for instance, are standard equipment for off-roading, because of the high likelihood of rollovers in off-road driving. Since only 5% of SUV’s are used off-road, they are no longer standard, and are instead an option that the consumer must request and purchase. The logic behind this fails when you look at the numbers – well over half of all SUV-related deaths are caused by rollover accidents.
Flaws in Design
Design flaws in SUV’s make them more prone to roll in situations where other vehicles are more likely to remain upright, such as: