Can SUV Safety Features Really Protect Me from SUV Rollover Accidents


December 09, 2010

While many Georgia drivers are extremely cautious when they drive, statistics indicate that if you drive the roadways of our state you will more than likely be involved in an auto accident at some point during your lifetime. Nationally there are in excess of six million auto accidents annually which result in over 2.9 million injuries and forty thousand fatalities. Given the virtual inevitability of being involved in a car crash, drivers should do all that they can to minimize the injuries suffered when they are involved in a motor vehicle accident. While no motor vehicle can completely eliminate these risks, many cars come with features or lack features that impact the degree of safety the automobile offers its occupants. At Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, we have been representing those injured in serious auto accidents throughout the Atlanta area and all of Georgia for over 25 years. We have provided some suggestions for safety features that can help protect you and your family when negotiating Georgia roadways.

Most people have read about the large number of rollover accidents involving Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs). Some manufacturers have made significant design and engineering improvements to make SUVs safer. There are still many SUVs that have not adopted these safety features, as well as SUVs that were manufactured before these features became commonly implemented by SUV manufacturers. The risk of SUV rollover accidents results from the fundamental design and engineering deficiencies of SUVs. SUVs have a high center of gravity and relatively narrow wheelbase, which makes them prone to rollover accidents. Almost 2,700 people per year die in SUV rollover accidents. Even in accidents where the occupant of an SUV survives, the risk of catastrophic injuries including head and neck injuries, spinal injuries, internal organ damage and paralysis are still common.

One feature that can make an SUV much safer is Electronic Stabilization Control (ESC). Drivers of SUVs tend to lose control of the vehicle when they swerve to avoid an obstacle then over-steer back in the opposite direction. While this is a very common evasive maneuver in passenger vehicles, drivers of SUVs can lose control of the vehicle when trying to execute this very basic emergency evasive maneuver. ESC systems can assist drivers in maintaining control of the SUV by selectively applying the brakes to individual wheels when a driver over-steers. Some ESC systems are more sophisticated than others, but this is a feature that can save lives and prevent serious injuries.

Rear middle seat shoulder belts and side impact and side curtain air bags can also protect vehicle occupants during an SUV rollover accident. Many SUV manufacturers do not provide shoulder belts in the middle rear seats although studies have shown that these belts can significantly reduce the risk of serious injury to occupants in the middle position in second and third row bench seats of SUVs. Another common feature that is not included in many SUVs is side impact and side-curtain airbags. Side curtain airbags can reduce the risk of an occupant suffering traumatic brain injuries when one's head impacts a window or doorframe during a rollover accident. A side-impact airbag can protect specific parts of your body such as your chest or head during an SUV rollover accident. While there is a wealth of data to indicate that this safety equipment can prevent catastrophic injuries or death, many SUV manufacturers continue to omit them from their SUVs.

Because SUVs will always have an increased risk of rollover accidents, it is important to check the roof safety rating of the vehicle. Many SUVs do not meet minimum roof safety standards so when they are involved in a rollover accident, occupants are placed at a much greater risk of injury because the roof does not have sufficient reinforcement.

At Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, we are strong advocates of motor vehicle safety. When auto manufacturers cut corners and sell motor vehicles that are defective or lack common sense safety features, they needlessly place consumers at risk. If you or your loved one has been injured by a car, truck or SUV accident, we are here to help. Our Georgia SUV rollover accident lawyers are available to assist clients throughout all of Georgia, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Dalton, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. Call us today for your free consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333), or visit us on the web at www.montlick.com. No matter where you are in Georgia, we are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you.

Category: Auto Accidents

Please Note:
Many of our blog articles discuss the law. All information provided about the law is very general in nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. Every situation is different, and should be analyzed by a lawyer who can provide individualized advice based on the facts involved in your unique situation, and a consideration of all of the nuances of the statutes and case law that apply at the time.