SUV rollover accidents are some of the most dangerous accidents for drivers and passengers on the road. Due to their size, shape, and design, SUVs are more likely to be involved in a rollover accident than other vehicles. In some cases, the vehicle manufacturers are aware of the rollover risk. However, the car companies do not warn customers of the rollover risks, which can increase injuries and the likelihood of death.
After a serious rollover accident, the driver and passengers can be left with expensive medical bills, a wrecked SUV, lost wages from missing work, and permanent scarring or disfigurement. If the injury was caused by a design defect, vehicle malfunction, or negligent driving, the injured individuals may file a personal injury claim against those responsible. Through filing a personal injury lawsuit, you can seek to recover damages to cover your medical bills, vehicle damage, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Causes of SUV Rollover Accidents
As the popularity of SUVs has grown in recent years, so has the increased risk of a rollover accident. According to a PBS Frontline report, more than 60% of SUV deaths involved a rollover accident. Single-vehicle rollovers account for more fatalities than any other kind of vehicle accident. Sport utility vehicles have a higher rate of rollover accidents than any other vehicle type.
SUV rollover accidents are categorized as either tripped or untripped. An untripped SUV rollover involves the vehicle losing stability and flipping over, usually as the result of going fast around a corner. When the forces involved in the turn are greater than the force of gravity, the SUV can lose contact with the road, and flip over. In a tripped rollovers, an external force causes the SUV to rollover, such as hitting a curb or guardrail, or going down a steep slope. Tripped rollovers account for the majority of SUV rollover accidents.
SUVs are generally taller than passenger cars, and often have higher ground clearance. This gives SUVs a higher center of gravity. Generally, a higher the center of gravity means an increased likelihood of a rollover accident. Statistically, most SUV rollovers involve driving in a rural area or driving at high speeds.
More SUVs are including advanced safety features to reduce the likelihood of a rollover, and increase passenger protection in the event of a rollover accident. This includes variable ride-height, rollover airbags, and electronic stability control. Stability control helps the driver maintain control of the vehicle during extreme steering, keeping the vehicle headed in the driver's intended direction. Variable ride height raises or lowers the vehicle height during motion, including lowering the center of gravity and increasing static stability, making it less likely to rollover. Rollover airbags are side-impact head airbags that deploy in rollover accidents, to protect the occupant's head, and keep them from being thrown from the vehicle.
SUVs with four-star rollover ratings include the Chevrolet Traverse, Nissan Murano, Subaru Tribeca, and Toyota Highlander. Alternatively, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), some of the vehicles with the highest risk of rollover include the Chevrolet Tahoe, Audi Q7, Mercedes-Benz M-Class, Volvo XC90, BMW X5, and Lexus RX.
SUV Rollover Injuries
Rollover accidents are more likely than other accidents to result in injury or death. In a rollover accident, the occupant can be thrown around inside the SUV, often impacting the interior of the vehicle multiple times. The occupant can also be thrown from the vehicle, which is more likely if they are not wearing a seatbelt. Due to the nature of a rollover accident, occupants often have multiple injuries, including neck and back injury, puncture wounds, broken bones, spinal cord injury, head injury, and severed limbs.
SUV rollover accidents often leave the occupants trapped in the car, increasing the risk of burn injuries. The occupants may not be able to get out and receive medical attention until they are freed by emergency personnel. Additionally, children are especially prone to injury in SUV rollover accidents. It is easier for a child to slip underneath the protection of a seatbelt in a violent accident. This can lead to ejection from the vehicle, severe physical trauma, or even death.
SUV Rollover Accident Lawyers
If you or a loved one was injured in an SUV rollover accident, you should talk to an experienced Maryland personal injury attorney about getting compensation for your lost wages, medical bills, and pain and suffering. Your personal injury attorney will help guide you through the claims process and advise you of your options, and fight to get you the compensation you deserve. Please do not hesitate to call Gilman & Bedigian today for a free consultation.