What Causes a Rollover Accident?

Though movie enthusiasts may associate rollover accidents with an exciting sequence in an action film, these types of auto accidents are more common than some may think and are the deadliest risk for occupants of SUVs (sport utility vehicles), trucks, or minivans. According to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 280,000 rollover accidents occur each year, resulting in more than 10,000 fatalities. SUVs unfortunately have the highest risk for rollovers as they often carry heavy loads, which may make them more top heavy, increasing the likelihood of the vehicle rolling over in an accident. As explained by Howstuffworks.com, rollover accidents are directly related to a vehicle’s stability in turns, and this stability is influenced by the relationship between the center of gravity and the distance between the left and right wheels, also known as the track width. A high center of gravity and a narrow track may cause a vehicle to be unstable when there is a turn or sharp change in direction, all of which can increase the odds the vehicle will tip over once it begins to skid sideways. This particular problem is more pronounced in SUVS and pickup trucks with 4-wheel-drive because both[…..]

Why Do SUVs Rollover More Than Other Vehicles?

The early Sport Utility Vehicles (SUV) were descendants of military and commercial vehicles, like the Land Rover and Jeep, but have evolved to include a variety of styles and sizes. SUVs are popular vehicles and, as such, can be seen often on U.S. roadways. They are usually high-powered and have a high occupant capacity, making them especially popular with young drivers and families, but they are also more dangerous than typical passenger cars. SUVs are built on a light truck chassis, or body frame, which means that an SUV is higher off the ground and has a higher center of gravity than normal passenger cars. This, in addition to the fact that many drivers do not know how to properly handle an SUV, is the general reason why SUVs tend to be involved in serious rollover crashes. The reason why a higher center of gravity and a higher road-chassis height makes more of a difference in an SUV than a pick-up truck, for example, is because of its high occupant capacity. In short, SUVs can easily become excessively top-heavy. In an SUV, the vehicle occupants are in the top half of the vehicle. With that extra weight, everyday maneuvers, especially[…..]