Although high gas prices have forced many from their sport utility vehicle, SUVs remain extremely popular family vehicles. While SUVs may provide a convenient way for mom’s to transport their kids to school or to transport the entire family on a camping trip, these vehicles can have a darker more ominous side. SUVs traditionally pose a much greater risk of rolling over in a motor vehicle collision.

Understanding San Diego SUV rollover accidents

Unique design features of SUVs account for their relatively high rate of rollover accidents. SUVs are top heavy with a narrow wheel base. According to a March 2007 report by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, rollover accidents account for a third of all traffic accident fatalities. On a state by state basis, the percentage of fatalities that occur in vehicle rollovers is more than two-thirds in some states.

Rollover accidents pose extremely dangerous hazards for vehicle occupants, including vehicle ejections and roof crush injuries. When an SUV occupant is ejected from a vehicle, the occupant has no structural protection to prevent the driver or passenger’s head or body from striking the surface of the roadway or being thrown a significant distance from the SUV.

Most common type of rollover collision – SUV tripping accidents

Many SUV rollover crashes that result in serious injury or fatalities are caused in SUV trip accidents. This type of SUV accident occurs when the tire of the vehicle drops of the edge of the roadway. The natural tendency of a driver is to turn the steering wheel hard in the opposite direction and then steer back hard the other direction to regain control of the vehicle. The wheelbase and top heavy nature of SUVs complicate the process of recovering from a skid or spin despite the fact this is a common maneuver for regaining control of a vehicle. This accident avoidance tactic is common and easily performed in other types of vehicles but frequently leads to a fatal SUV rollover.

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