SUV rollovers: What you should know

pRollOverB&W_shutterstock_78347797Rollover accidents can occur while traveling in any type of vehicle. People traveling in sports utility vehicles, however, may be more likely to rollover, a fact known by a Chicago car accident attorney. Not only are these rugged vehicles equipped to handle off-road terrain, their design can be dangerous to people who do not fully understand their limitations. In fact, some motorists may get a false sense of security when driving large SUVs. There are certain precautions SUV owners should take in order to avoid a rollover accident.

Factors that increase the risk of a rollover

There are several factors that can increase the risk of a rollover. SUVs are top-heavy and have a high center of gravity. Therefore, they tend to rollover more easily than vehicles that travel lower to the ground. SUVs can also carry more weight, or have a larger payload capacity, when compared to other vehicles. According to Edmunds.com, some models of SUVs cannot carry as much weight as others. When an SUV is overloaded with more weight than it can handle it is more susceptible to a rollover accident.

Driving too fast can dramatically increase the likelihood that the vehicle will be involved in a collision and a possible rollover. If the driver takes a corner too quickly or rapidly changes direction, the top-heavy SUV may tip over. The fast speed may generate enough momentum to keep the car in a rolling motion. SUV owners should avoid speeding, never overcorrect and take corners carefully.

The rooftop storage or roof rack on an SUV can be another contributing factor to a rollover incident. Motorists should try not to put heavy items on the roof of the vehicle, as this simply adds to the SUV’s already top-heavy design.

Surviving a rollover

A Chicago car accident attorney knows that rollover accidents are not an uncommon occurrence in Chicago and across the country. According to Consumer Reports, rollovers account for approximately 30 percent of motor vehicle fatalities. While some rollover risks are uncontrollable due to the shape and design of the SUV, there are some things drivers can do to avoid an accident. Motorists should:

  • Always wear seatbelts. This will keep people in place and prevent injuries should they become involved in a rollover.
  • Never overload the car with weight heavier than that suggested by the manufacturer.
  • Avoid hitting or clipping something, such as a curb, barrier or object in the road that could trip the car into a rollover.
  • Always check the tires. Tires that don’t’ have enough tread or that are underinflated may contribute to an incident.

Although newer SUVs have more advanced safety devices in place to help prevent rollovers from occurring, motorists should still drive cautiously. People who have been seriously injured in a rollover accident may want to contact a Chicago car accident attorney for further legal information.