At Nahon Saharovich & Trotz, PLC (â€śNST Law), we know that as SUVs became popular, making the transition from off-road vehicle to all purpose family car, certain design elements made the SUV a moving death trap for many drivers.Â The SUV is portrayed in most auto industry advertising as the â€śheartwarming modern station wagonâ€ť where mom and dad load up the kids, dog and bikes and head off for a sun filled day at the beach.Â This popular image belies a darker side to the widespread popularity of the SUV â€“ the SUV rollover accident.
Although roll over accidents occur less frequently than other accidents, they are far more likely to result in serious injury or death.Â Rollover accidents kill about 10,000 people and injure more than 200,000 each year.Â Although rollover accidents accounted for only 3% of all auto accidents in 2001, they now account for a whopping 33% of all vehicle accident fatalities.Â At NST Law, we have many years of knowledge and experience with representing those injured in SUV rollover accidents.
The reasons that SUVs are so prone to rollover accidents and result in such catastrophic injuries like head trauma are well known in the SUV manufacturing industry.Â The risk of an SUV rollover occurs when taking emergency corrective action after steering in one direction and then rapidly correcting in the other direction.Â SUVs have a high center of gravity (i.e they are top-heavy) and are among the most unstable vehicles on the road.Â The high center of gravity and a narrow track width (i.e. the distance between the tires on each side of the vehicle) makes it difficult for a SUV to skid, spin and recover.Â This is a common evasive maneuver that auto driverâ€™s successfully perform every day.Â In SUV vehicles, this rapid corrective action often causes SUVâ€™s to rollover.Â SUV accident litigation often involves expert testimony regarding the physics of SUV rollovers and SUV safety standards.Â The attorneys of NST Law understand the value of using technology like computer animations to help the judge and jury understand and visualize an SUV rollover accident.
Studies of rollover accidents show that more than 90% of rollovers occur after a driver inadvertently runs off the roadway.Â Once the vehicle leaves the pavement after the driver loses control of the vehicle, it hits a ditch, soft soil, curb or rail guard or other â€śtripping mechanism,â€ť which then initiates the rollover accident.Â This type of chain reaction is the most common factor in SUV rollover accidents often called â€śtrippingâ€ť accidents. Electronic Stability Control (ESC) can reduce the risk of SUV rollover accidents to some degree.Â ESC is intended to aid drivers in maintaining control of their vehicles during extreme steering maneuvers.Â The ESC system senses when the SUV is starting to spin out (oversteer) or plow out (understeer), the system automatically activating the brakes to one or more wheels.Â Other systems slow the SUV with further brake and throttle control.
The design and manufacturing of an SUV not only make it more likely to rollover during an accident but also much more frequently results in catastrophic injury or death.Â Although many SUV type vehicles originally were designed with rollbars for off-road driving, SUV manufacturers viewed rollbars as an unnecessary expense as SUVs became routinely used for standard city driving.Â Today, very few SUVs have rollbars and almost none meet the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration roof safety standards for automobiles.Â The high center of gravity, narrow track width and lack of roof reinforcement form a deadly combination.Â The SUV auto accident attorneys of NST Law thoroughly understand the legal and mechanical issues related to SUV rollover accidents.Â NST Law will make the vast resources of experience, knowledge and technology at our disposal available to assist you in obtaining the best possible outcome in your SUV rollover accident case.