SUV Rollover Accidents
SUV rollovers have become the stuff of legends. Today's SUVs are often much safer and more stable than their predecessors and the legal landscape is more complicated when it comes to personal injury and wrongful death claims involving sport utility vehicle rollover accidents.
A 2011 study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety found that new SUVs are now much less likely to roll over, thanks to electronic stability control and better car-based SUV designs. Still, many older SUVs remain on the road without benefit of new designs or improved technology. And as the Firestone tire recall taught us more than a decade ago, bad tires or other design flaws can still result in dangerous or deadly defects.
SUV Accident Claims in Massachusetts
SUV Accidents can involve a number of issues:
- Rollover accidents
- Lane and road departure accidents
- Ejection accidents
- Underride accidents
- Defective vehicle claims
SUVs now account for about one-fourth of new vehicles sold and they are the darling of Detroit given there is up to $15,000 in profit on each vehicle. By 2002, as many as 70,000 rollover crashes were claiming more than 2,000 lives per year. While Congress debated the Firestone tire issue in 2000, the 200 deaths contributed to bad tires were just the tip of the iceberg - more than 12,000 had been killed that decade in SUV accidents unrelated to tire failure. The SUV was born out of Congressional fuel economy restrictions in the 1970s. Because light trucks were exempt, carmakers put car bodies on truck frames. Opposition from auto manufacturers and a political environment that favored deregulation resulted in a lack of rules that could have prevented the poor designs and other cost cutting that led to increased rollover risks.
Subsequent investigations have shown that some SUV manufacturers knew of the increased risk of rollover accidents. But because mitigating those risks would have delayed product launches or reduced profits, the motoring public was sold dangerous and defective vehicles.
Rollover accidents are deadly. Single vehicle rollover crashes cause one-third of all traffic fatalities. SUV accidents still have a higher injury rate than pickup trucks or vans. And the total number of people injured in SUV accidents continues to climb - reaching nearly 350,000 in the latest year for which statistics are available through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
More than half of all fatal accidents involving SUVs are the result of rollover crashes, compared to one-third for vans and 25 percent for passenger cars.
Reducing your risk of an SUV rollover:
- Avoid speeding, drowsy or drunk driving or other conditions that could lead to a loss of control.
- Use extra caution on rural roads or roads in poor condition.
- Properly maintain tires.
- Avoid extreme steering.
- Ensure vehicle is properly and evenly loaded.
If your family is dealing with a Massachusetts rollover accident, contact the Boston personal injury lawyers and wrongful death attorneys at the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman today for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights.
Boston Injury Lawyer - (888) 367-2900 -- Free Consultation