SUVs are the most popular car in the United States. Sadly, they are more prone to rollovers and are responsible for 30% of all road accident passenger deaths in the country. Thankfully, you can reduce the likelihood of your SUV rolling over. While no one purchases or gets into an SUV expecting to be involved in a rollover accident, prevention is way better than cure, especially if your family is involved.
Many rollover accidents can be prevented if drivers and other road users act responsibly. If you were involved in an SUV rollover accident and you suspect someone acted irresponsibly or negligently, talk to a California SUV rollover accident attorney to know your legal options.
Why SUVs Roll Over
Because they are taller and narrower, SUVs and pickups have a higher center of gravity and are more susceptible to rolling over than other vehicles. Basically, they are heavier at the top, which makes it easier for sideways forces to tip them over. Certain factors such as high speed, dramatic swerving and overloading at the top increase the chances of rolling over.
SUV rollovers are classified as either tripped or untripped. Tripped rollovers are the most prevalent. These occur when an SUV is tripped by something such as a pothole, curb or roadside shoulder. Untripped roll overs occur because the vehicle is top heavy and sudden actions by the driver such as a dramatic steer to avoid an object builds enough sideway force to instigate a roll over.
Tips to Prevent Your SUV from Rolling Over
- Buy newer SUV models
Start off on the right wheel. Newer models are better built for safety and quality. They feature the latest safety systems such as electronic stability control, a computer technology that accurately detects when a driver loses steering control and applies brakes to the car wheels asymmetrically to stop skidding. Always go for models with a lower center of gravity and a wider wheelbase.
- Do not overload
With all that extra space, it’s hard not to overload. Resist the temptation. Overloading will decrease your car’s stability. Read the vehicle’s manual to know the maximum weight your car can support. Work with that figure. Always load the heaviest items closer to the base of the car. Leave the roof rack for lighter items.
- Maintain reasonable tire grip
Too much grip allows the SUV to build enough sideways force to tip it over. You want tires with just enough grip, but not too much. When replacing your tires, choose ones that are as close as possible to the car’s original set. Avoid performance replacement tires as these provide excess grip. Check your tires often and always ensure they are at even optimum inflation.
- Do not travel at excessive speed
A speeding SUV is more likely to roll over and its effects will be more severe. Stick to the speed limits, especially in rural roads where the roads are undivided, without barriers.
- Be mindful
Wear your seatbelts. Focus on the road ahead of you at all times. Do not drink and drive. Negotiate sharp turns slowly, especially if the road is icy, wet or snowy. Do not tailgate. Always give yourself room to maneuver. If your vehicle veers off the road or if you drift into another lane, do not jerk the steering wheel or accelerate, rather, slowly turn the steering wheel and return the car to the road. Overcorrecting an SUV on one side can force the tires to grip the road, initiating a roll.
Rollover accidents are scary. You never want to be involved in one. If you have been involved in one, it may be because someone was not reasonably cautious. If you have been involved in a rollover accident, contact J&Y Law today for a free consultation.