SUV Rollover Accidents in Georgia


August 30, 2010

Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs) may have originally been developed as off-road all terrain recreation vehicles but over the last decade have become a very popular family vehicle with seating for everyone and lots of storage space. Despite their popularity, SUVs have a number of characteristics that create a significant danger of being involved in rollover accidents leading to catastrophic, and even fatal injuries.

At Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, we know that victims of such tragic accidents need a team behind them who are compassionate and committed to seeking the compensation you are entitled to, so that you can obtain the medical treatment and rehabilitation you need and begin rebuilding your life. While SUVs have become the station wagon of this generation, they pose safety risks that can result in very serious injuries.

The risk of being in an SUV rollover accident is linked to design and engineering characteristics unique to SUV vehicles. When a driver is forced to take emergency corrective action by steering in one direction to avoid an obstacle then rapidly over-correcting in the opposite direction, SUVs are prone to rollover because they have a high center of gravity relative to a narrow wheel base. These characteristics of SUVs make it very difficult for drivers to skid and spin but still recover. This is a maneuver that drivers frequently employ safely to evade obstacles and avoid collisions. When performed in an SUV, this relatively basic evasive tactic performed successfully in other vehicles can transform an SUV into a moving death trap. In 2007, more than 2,700 people were killed in SUV rollover accidents nationally based on statistics from the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA).

The vast majority of SUV rollover accident are the result of a driver accidentally driving off the pavement and hitting something like soft soil or a curb that effectively “trips” the SUV and causes the vehicle to rollover. These accidents are the most common form of SUV rollover accidents and are referred to as “tripping accidents.” Analyzing and explaining an SUV accident to present a claim often entails the use of industry experts to explain both the physics that cause the accident and appropriate industry standards, and why the SUV’s unsafe design caused any resulting serious injuries or even death.

There are other design features of SUVs that are well known to SUV manufacturers that often lead to catastrophic injuries or fatalities when an SUV rollover accident occurs. SUVs were originally designed as all terrain off road vehicles with roll bars to protect drivers and passengers. When auto manufacturers began adapting SUVs for family vehicles to be used on city streets and highways, they decided that roll bars were an unnecessary expense because the vehicles were not being produced for off road use. Very few SUVs have rollbars and virtually none meet the minimum roof safety standards for cars established by the NHTSA. Single accident SUV rollover accidents cause 47% of all SUV fatalities as compared to 21% of passenger vehicle fatalities.

The dangers posed by these design characteristics of SUVs are magnified because many people that drive SUVs have a false sense of security. The weight and bulk of SUVs provide many drivers with a sense that they are exceptionally safe behind the wheel of an SUV. A study performed by the National Consumer Survey, Opinion Research Corporation found that 40% of the population feel more safe in an SUV and 39% feel more powerful when they are driving or riding in an SUV. This false sense of security can lull a driver into being less vigilant and contribute to inattentive driving causing the driver to drift off the roadway starting a chain reaction tripping accident.

In summary, the unique characteristics of SUVs make them much more likely to rollover, and to lead to serious injuries and even death when such a rollover accident occurs. An SUV's high center of gravity, narrow wheel base and inadequate roof strength create a serious risk of causing significant injuries. At Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law we understand the devastating impact an SUV rollover accident can have on one's life. The Georgia SUV rollover accident attorneys at Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law represent clients throughout the entire state of Georgia, including residents of Bibb County, DeKalb County, Fulton County, Athens-Clark County, Gwinnett County, Cobb County, Clayton County and Cherokee County. If you or someone you love has been involved in such an accident, our caring team will work with you to seek the compensation and medical treatment and rehabilitation that you deserve.

Category: Auto Accidents

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