Many sports utility vehicles (SUVs) have high centers of gravity, top heavy wheelbases and a top-heavy design, making them particularly susceptible to rolling over. The effects of the manufacturer’s design flaws are often magnified when a driver experiences a high speed tire failure. With additional issues such as inadequate rollover bars and the lack of safety glass to take into consideration, SUVs have become an extremely dangerous vehicle to drive.Compared to standard vehicles, SUVs present a dramatically higher risk of rollover accidents. Unaware of the dangers, U.S. motorists regularly travel in SUVs at speeds that are normal for a standard passenger car. Unfortunately, these SUVs do not respond the same way that a car does when changing lanes abruptly or at a high speed. As a result, thousands of people are killed or seriously injured in SUV accidents every year.SUV rollover accidents are common today because of instability and a flawed design. Fundamental changes to this design, such as lowering the center of gravity or widening the wheel base, would help to make these vehicles safer. However, such changes are costly and automakers often choose less expensive (and subsequently less effective) modifications.The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) offers several tips to reduce the risk of a rollover accident:
- Do not use excessive speed;
- Do not drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs;
- Do not drive when excessively drowsy;
- Be careful on rural roads;
- Avoid erratic steering;
- Maintain tire pressure;
- Load vehicles properly.
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