How You Can Reduce the Risk of Being Involved in an SUV Rollover Accident


April 09, 2011

Many people throughout Georgia do not realize that while SUVs are prone to rollover, there are basic steps that a typical driver can take to reduce their risk of being involved in a serious SUV rollover accident. There are a number of developing technological innovations on the horizon which may eventually make SUVs much safer both in terms of reducing their tendency to rollover and the seriousness of resulting injuries.

Until these innovations have become standard features on many SUVs, there are steps that a typical driver or SUV occupant can employ to reduce their risk of being involved in an SUV accident. At Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, we have been representing the victims of SUV rollover accidents throughout Georgia for over 27 years. Our experienced Atlanta SUV rollover accident attorneys are dedicated to providing exceptional service as part of our goal of being the best auto accident law firm in Georgia.

There are a number of basic tips that can help prevent serious injury in an SUV accident. The most important step is to wear a seatbelt which helps keep occupants inside the vehicle in a rollover accident, and reduces the risk of occupants having their head or body slammed against the interior of the vehicle while being tossed around. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has shown that 80% of rollover fatalities are caused by the ejection of vehicle occupants. The best way to ensure that a person will not be ejected from an SUV during a rollover accident is by wearing a seatbelt at all times. A study by George Washington University's National Crash Analysis Center found that vehicle occupants are 400% more likely to be injured or killed in a rollover if they are not wearing a seatbelt.

A person’s choice of SUV can also significantly reduce the risk of serious SUV rollover injuries, as SUVs vary widely in terms of the safety equipment installed in a vehicle, as well a particular vehicle's propensity to rollover. One key safety feature that has been shown to help make an SUV safer is electronic stability control (ESC). When vehicles with ESC enter into a skid, the brakes are automatically applied to individual wheels to help rapidly re-establish control. This helps prevent small, unstable rocking from snowballing into catastrophic rollovers. SUVs are exceptionally susceptible to rollover accidents because they are top heavy and have a narrow wheel base. This means when a driver turns rapidly to avoid an obstacle, then oversteers back hard in the other direction to compensate, the vehicle is more likely to rollover. ESC can compensate for this evasive manuever that is routine in a passenger vehicle but deadly in a SUV.

There are other safety features that it makes sense to pay attention to when purchasing an SUV. It is also important to look at the roof strength rating when purchasing an SUV. The more reinforcement the roof of the SUV has the more likely occupants are to avoid serious injuries from critical roof crush injuries should the vehicle rollover. Side window airbags are also a valuable safety feature which can prevent head injuries incurred in an impact with the doorframe of the vehicle and can keep passengers from being ejected from the vehicle as the vehicle becomes deformed during a rollover accident.

A driver who is conscious of the risk of a rollover accident when driving an SUV can also reduce the risk by driving carefully. Rollovers can be caused by turning too fast, though the sharper the turn the slower the “too fast” speed becomes. At 20 miles per hour, a circle with a radius of 25 feet is too tight a turn, whereas at 80 miles per hour merely the shift of a quick lane change can be enough to cause an SUV to rollover. As a result, checking your speed, turning carefully, and not making sudden movements in an SUV can all greatly enhance your safety. Driving defensively by allowing a safe following distance also can reduce the need to employ sudden sharp evasive steering manuevers, substantially reducing SUV rollover risk.

SUVs are inherently more prone to rollover, but following these basic tips regarding the selection and operation of an SUV can make a difference. The rollover risk associated with SUVs will presumably decline as new technologies are designed to prevent rollover risks become standard features on SUVs. In the meantime, the best way to avoid SUV rollover accidents is to use care in your selection and operation of an SUV. If you are seriously injured or you have lost a loved one in an SUV rollover accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. At Montlick and Associates we work hard for our clients because we want the very best for them, and we are committed to our goal of being regarded as the best Atlanta auto accident lawyers in Georgia.

Call our experienced Atlanta SUV rollover accident attorneys today to discuss your rights and how we can help. Montlick and Associates is available to assist clients throughout all of Georgia and the Southeast, including but not limited to Albany, Athens, Atlanta, Augusta, Columbus, Gainesville, Macon, Marietta, Rome, Roswell, Savannah, Smyrna, Valdosta, Warner Robins and all smaller cities and rural areas in the state. No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at www.montlick.com and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.

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.