SUV ROLLOVER CRASH QUICKFACTS:
- About 214,700 passenger vehicles rollover each year in crashes that are severe enough to require towing
- Crashes in which a vehicle rolled over accounted for more than half of all single-vehicle crash deaths. (NHTSA)
- Vehicle rollover crashes are especially serious because they so often result in head injuries. Head trauma is the most frequent type of fatal and nonfatal injury in rollovers. (NHTSA)
- The rate of serious injury in passenger vehicle rollover crashes is 36 percent higher than in crashes where there is no rollover. (NHTSA)
- The high fatality and injury rates are due, in part, to the high percentage of rollover crashes in which passengers are ejected from their vehicles. Ejections account for 63 percent of all fatalities in rollover crashes and often result in costly and debilitating head injuries. (NHTSA)
- More than 90 percent of passenger vehicle rollover crashes are single-vehicle crashes, and 8,345 of the 10,142 occupant deaths occurred in single-vehicle rollover crashes. (NHTSA)
- More than half, 56 percent, of single-vehicle crash deaths resulted from rollovers compared with only 11 percent of rollover deaths in all multiple-vehicle crashes. (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, or IIHS)
- Each year, about 7,900 passenger vehicle rollovers have no apparent cause, other than normal surface friction. These are called ” untripped ” rollovers, and their causes are not fully understood.
- Each year, rollovers kill about 10,000 people and injure more than 200,000
- In fatal crashes, rollovers rank second in terms of severity. Frontal crashes rank first.
- Most rollovers occur when a vehicle leaves the roadway and “trips” on something, which then causes the vehicle to rollover
- The rollover problem is most serious for light trucks and sport utility vehicles
- Per registered vehicle, pickups, sport utility vehicles, and vans are in only 68 percent as many crashes as passenger cars, but are in 127 percent as many rollover crashes than passenger cars.
- While in 2001 rollover accidents accounted for 3% of all highway accidents, they now account for 1/3 (33%) of all vehicle-occupant fatalities.
SUV Rollovers are among the most dangerous types of crashes that occur because the vehicle occupants are subjected to particularly severe injuries. Sports utilities vehicles have a high center of gravity and are among the most unstable vehicles on the road. Rollover occurs because of the absence of a lower center of gravity and a wider track width, which allows automobiles to skid, spin and recover. But when taking a common evasive maneuver that car driver’s safety complete every day, rapidly corrective action causes SUVs to trip and roll.
Some SUVs are designed to be driven off the road and roll, yet very few have rollbars and few meet the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration roof safety standards for automobiles.
SUV problems occurs when taking emergency action after steering in one direction and then being forced to rapidly correct in the opposite direction. The result is a SUV rollover.
Jeffrey W. Runge , director of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, stresses that occupants of SUVs are 3 times more likely to die in a rollover accident than those in a typical passenger vehicle. The high center of gravity on SUVs makes them more likely to tip during sudden maneuvers. Dr. Runge stated that SUV owners have a mistaken sense of safety in SUVs because they are high above the ground.
Dr. Runge wants the government to mandate safety standards for SUVs that address rollover and side impact crashes. Manufacturers of SUVs have developed some safety devices for these vehicles; however, most of these features are optional and few customers are requesting they be added to their SUV.
Although SUVs are more likely to rollover than any other vehicle, light trucks and vans also pose a greater danger than cars. Like SUVs , light trucks and vans also have a higher center of gravity. When you raise the center of gravity of a vehicle, it becomes unstable.