All automobile accidents are not created equal when they are evaluated based on factors such as frequency of occurrence, and the severity of injuries/damages, and one of the primary differences is associated with sport utility vehicles, also known as SUVs. The popularity of these vehicles has actually taken over the auto market during the past two decades as they have been modified from their original design as a “suburban” extended truck. Today, the variety of models available from most manufacturers drive with the feel of a saloon car, but they can carry as many people as the traditional minivan, thus increasing the potential for personal injury. From the perspective of a potential owner, their overall safety features should be considered closely before making a purchase.
SUVs – Potential for a Rollover Accident
One of the primary issues with SUV models is their relatively tall profile. Sport utility vehicles are typically designed to be taller than the traditional passenger vehicle, offering drivers and passengers more cabin room and comfort. This taller profile changes the center of gravity of the vehicle and makes them more prone to rollover accidents. Rollover accidents involving SUVs occur at a much higher rate than with other types of passenger vehicles, they typically occur when the driver attempts certain types of maneuver with the vehicle and also when being struck by other vehicles. Modern traction control systems have helped reduce rollover accidents, but when they do occur they can be quite devastating to those inside the vehicle. Again, this becomes even more significant when considering the capacity for a higher passenger load.
SUVs – Increased Pedestrian Accidents
An alarming trend that one particular study has shown about SUV accidents is the increase in pedestrian injury incidents. Even when traveling at speeds as low as 10 miles per hour, very serious injuries to both the lower extremities and the upper torso of pedestrians is likely when being struck by an SUV.
Bicyclists are also common casualties in these numbers, and more often are involved in higher-speed collisions. One recent study reveals that pedestrians are over 50% more likely to suffer fatal injuries when being struck by an SUV or truck than a smaller passenger vehicle due to the potential for impact over the entire body.
SUVs – Distractions From Onboard Equipment and Features
Modern vehicles are designed with additional features that are intended to make traveling more pleasurable, but these enhanced features can also create safety issues in the process. Along with certain entertainment equipment that is installed at the factory, not to mention after-market modifications made by owners, there are many distracting features that find their way into SUVs at a higher rate than with other types of automobiles. Even hands-free cell phones, GPS devices, and other communication devices are problematic. Distractions inside the vehicle can create concentration problems for drivers resulting in accidents on the roads.
While the general consensus is that SUVs may provide greater mechanical protection to those inside the vehicle, the fact is that for pedestrians and those driving regular non-SUV motor vehicles, an impact from an SUV can deliver catastrophic injuries.
Contact Our Car Accident Lawyer Offices If You Have Been Injured
If you’ve been involved in an accident with an SUV and suffered physical injury or damage to property, our car accident lawyers can assist any injured party in maximizing their injury claim. There are common factors that occur frequently in SUV crashes that set them aside from accidents involving typical saloon cars, and having an attorney who is experienced in handling personal injury claims stemming from SUV accidents is often the most effective method of obtaining equitable general damages. General damages for the long-term impact of an injury is typically the compensation that makes victims financially whole when the case is settled, and insurance companies are diligent about avoiding these payments where possible.