A lot of people drive SUVs today, because they feel safer in them than they do in a smaller car or a truck. These vehicles are larger than most cars, and since they are taller and the driver sits higher up, it is easier to see what is taking place on the road around them.
But are SUVs safer than cars?
If you like SUVs you definitely are not alone, but you should also understand that these types of vehicles come with risks that you will not find in a typical car. The biggest risk is a rollover during an accident, and this is one of the serious concerns many people have about driving them.
Why is the Rollover Risk So High?
The reason for the high rollover risk comes from the SUV’s design. It is much more top-heavy than regular cars, which gives it a higher center of gravity. When SUVs are sold, the owner’s manual and the information on the underside of the sun visors typically make reference to the rollover risk. There are some ways to reduce the rollover risk when driving, but if you’re involved in an accident you may have less control over the situation.
How much rollover risk an SUV poses must be weighed against the benefits of driving this type of vehicle. For example, testing by Consumer Reports shows that SUVs are often safer when it comes to front-end crashes and rear-end crashes. That can be a reason for someone to buy an SUV, even though there are rollover risks to consider. The cargo space and carrying capacity of these vehicles may also be important to potential buyers.
As long as the risks of rollover are clearly understood, and people realize why that risk is elevated, many of the behaviors that result in rollovers can be avoided.
What Should Drivers Look for to be Safe?
There are two things drivers can do in order to ensure your safety when it comes to SUVs. The first one is to be particular about the SUV you buy, and the second one is to understand the differences in driving an SUV versus driving a regular compact car.
Some SUVs are safer than others when it comes to rolling over, and that often depends on weight. The smaller, lighter SUVs generally have more of a rollover risk, so purchasing one that is larger and heavier can reduce risk. However, the risk of rolling over in an SUV will always be higher than it is in a car, no matter which make or model is purchased.
When driving an SUV, sticking to the posted speed limit and slowing down appropriately for curves and corners are excellent ways to reduce rollover risk. Trying to turn too quickly can lead to an SUV ending up on its side, and that can mean serious injuries. Being struck in a crash can also cause an SUV to roll over, so driving defensively and reducing the chances that you will be involved in a crash are important ways to enjoy an SUV safely. They can be great vehicles, but like anything, they need to be handled in a responsible way to protect their occupants and the other drivers around them.
If you have been injured in an SUV accident, whether you were in the SUV or in another vehicle that was struck by one, contact us at the Felix Gonzalez Law Firm, PC today. Having a legal advocate on your side after an accident is very important. By reaching out to us, we can discuss your case and work with you toward fair and just compensation for your injuries.