Most New York City drivers think or have the perception that bigger is better–and thus the SUV (sports utility vehicles) are better because they stand taller than regular cars. And better equates to “safer” in a lot of drivers’ minds.
Here’s the sobering fact–and sadly New York City is No. 1 in SUV accidents as can be seen in the following ranking.
10 Deadliest Cities: Total Traffic Fatalities in a Single Year (Source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration 2005)
1. New York
2. Los Angeles
8. San Antonio
10. San Diego
It is NOT true that SUVs are safer. They have a tendency to roll over, which results in more serious accidents and thus higher rate of personal injury. And this happens with almost every make and model.
Rollovers account for 51% of all deaths in standard sport utility vehicles, 36% of deaths in pickup trucks, and 19% of deaths in standard cars. The rollover is an extremely severe automobile accident and an increasingly common one with the growing popularity of sport utility vehicles (SUVs). In 2002, the number of people killed in rollover accidents involving SUVs rose 14 percent.
The perception among drivers is that bigger is better, and therefore SUVs–which are bigger than other cars–must be safer. Unfortunately, this perception is not correct. SUVs, which are not only bigger but taller than other kinds of cars and trucks, have a disturbing tendency to roll over, which results in more serious accidents. Almost every make and model of SUVs have this problem.
− Rollover accidents are far more likely to result in death than are other kinds of accidents.
− SUVs are involved in more rollover accidents than are other kinds of passenger vehicles.
− The propensity of SUVs to roll over means that while single-vehicle rollover accidents accounted for only 19% of passenger deaths in cars, they caused more than half (53%) of the passenger deaths in SUVs.
Simply, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, SUVs roll over at more than twice the rate of other vehicles. As a result, the government requires SUVs to bear a warning label telling you, the driver, that you are in danger of rolling over if you make a sharp turn, which you may have to do to avoid a collision.
This warning to drivers does not change the way the car is designed–and if a driver had a choice of turning sharply (resulting in a rollover) or hitting another car, drivers react and don’t anticipate the calamity caused by this quickly made decision. Soon you are looking at the warning label when your SUV is on its side–on the road.
Here’s what happened: Because most people use their SUVs as a family car rather than as an off-road vehicle, most SUV manufacturers have removed roll bars from their SUVs–safety equipment that would provide some protection in the event of a rollover caused by its high level of gravity. Accidents are often caused by tire blowouts (equipment failure), excessive speed (especially in curves) and poor road conditions (soft shoulders). And if passengers are not wearing seatbelts, they are likely to be ejected.
If you or someone you love has been involved in an SUV rollover accident, you may have a claim against the manufacturer and others for any injuries that have been suffered. Do not settle for less than what you are due. Contact our firm.
We at Stephen Bilkis & Associates will be happy to discuss your case with you.