Avoiding SUV Rollover Accidents in Georgia


May 06, 2011

SUV's are often purchased by people who are athletic, enjoy outdoor activities, want to tow things like boats, as well as for family use, and who care about safety.

When purchasing an SUV you want to be sure to look for some features that can help you to remain safe while driving them.

The first SUV’s that came out on the market actually had bodies like trucks, which unlike a unibody car, did not absorb the energy from a crash very well. They were built to be tough, not have good "crumple zones". These SUV’s also had a high center of gravity and were more easily rolled over than other vehicle types.

With the advent of new designs and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) putting scrutiny on things like rollover ratings, some of these problems have started to improve. Many newer model SUV’s are being built with wider tracks and lowered bodies, which lower their center of gravity.

However, SUV rollover statistics could convince someone that SUV’s and the issue of rollovers goes together. The fact is that rollovers can be minimized but not eliminated, and the chance of death from an SUV rollover can be decreased as well. The NHTSA reveals that although rollovers make up only 3% of passenger-vehicle crashes, they account for almost 33% of all deaths. This data also reflects that 85% of all rollover-related deaths are from rollovers that just involve an SUV and no other vehicle.

There are other statistics from the NHTSA that suggest that some of these rollover accidents can be minimized:

  • 72% (the majority) of victims in rollovers were not wearing their seat belts.
  • If you are wearing a seat belt you are 75% less likely to be killed.
  • Speeding is to blame in 40% (almost half) of all fatal rollover crashes, which is much more than in other types of crashes.
  • Most of these rollovers occur on rural type roads with no divider and a speed limit over 55 mph.
  • 90% of single-vehicle rollovers occur during routine driving maneuvers.

There are also some specific safety features you can look for in an SUV that will help keep you safe as well.

  • Electronic stability systems: If you start to lose control of the vehicle, these systems can limit acceleration and cause the antilock brakes to engage and keep you on course. These can help prevent the conditions that can lead up to a rollover but not the actual rollover itself. There are a number of different names for these systems depending on the manufacturer of the vehicle.
  • Side curtain-type airbags: These airbags deploy down from the ceiling to cover all or some of the side windows in a crash. These can help keep passengers inside the vehicle in the event of a rollover. They usually can stay inflated for several rolls.
  • Rollover prevention: These systems can actually sense an impending rollover and they trigger the electronic stability system to prevent it.

Although bigger tires can make some trucks and SUV’s look sharp and stylish, bigger tires on an SUV can also seriously compromise its safety. When a person installs larger tires on an SUV, it changes the wheelbase and therefore distorts the handling characteristics of the vehicles. It is advisable to try to stick with the tires that come on the vehicle because they are part of the initial overall design that includes safety considerations.

Even after taking all of these precautions, driving an SUV can still put you at a certain amount of risk for being involved in an SUV rollover accident whether you are driving on the streets of Atlanta or in rural areas throughout Georgia. Any SUV rollover accident in Georgia involves a high risk of serious injury or even death.

If you have been seriously injured or someone you love has suffered wrongful death in an SUV rollover accident in Georgia, the attorneys at Montlick and Associates are prepared to provide a free consultation to assess your case and advise you regarding your options. We help our clients seek compensation for their losses, including but not limited to medical expenses, lost wages, disability or loss of future earnings, pain and suffering, property damages, funeral and burial expenses, punitive damages when applicable, and loss of consortium (loss of services or companionship from a spouse or sometimes child).

Montlick and Associates, Attorneys at Law, has been representing those seriously injured in motor vehicle accidents including SUV rollover accidents throughout Georgia and the Southeast since 1984. Our experienced Georgia SUV rollover accident lawyers are 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 we 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.