Marketing campaigns indicate that SUVs are safe and family friendly, however, they are more likely than most other vehicles to be involved in rollover accidents. SUVs are more prone to tipping over even during normal driving maneuvers because they have heavier bodies and higher center of gravities. Their rollover rate is three times greater than the rollover rate of passenger cars and double the one of pickup trucks. They are the only motor vehicle with a rollover fatality rate higher than any other category of fatality.
Occupants in an SUV rollover can be thrown violently against its ceiling and walls, and can be exposed to jagged metal and crushed glass.
In 2005, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (Penn DOT) reported that light trucks, SUVs, and vans crashed 4,519 times resulting in 135 rollover deaths.
SUVs are Exempt from Many Safety Laws
Compounding these issues are the fact that federal laws don’t require SUVs to be as safe or as “crashworthy” as smaller motor vehicles. SUVs weigh more than passenger automobiles and are considered “light trucks.” This makes SUVs exempt from many of the safety laws that exist to protect motorists. Like SUVs, 15-passenger vans are also very susceptible to rolling over during routine driving maneuvers, such as sudden swerves. These vans have a very high center of gravity and weigh a great deal. The vans are designed and marketed to carry a huge number of people and cargo at the same time, which adds to the vehicle’s weight and makes it even more likely to tip over. This outcome is made even more likely when the weight is concentrated in the back of the van where the heaviest luggage is often stored. Due to their large size and the fact that they do not require a special license to operate, 15-passenger vans were once the motor vehicle of choice for millions of church and school groups across the United States until reports of rollover deaths became more frequent.
Rollover accidents can be catastrophic. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) notes that rollovers accounted for 2.6% of passenger motor vehicle crashes in 2000. Rollover victims are two times as likely to die or suffer serious injuries than motor vehicle collision victims involved in flat crashes. A rollover also increases the chances that a victim will be ejected from the motor vehicle. This is a catastrophic outcome that significantly increases the odds that a victim will sustain a head injury or a spinal cord injury. These injuries are life-altering and can leave the victim unable to work making the costly medical bills even more of a financial burden.
Our Philadelphia Van Rollover Accident Lawyers Can Help
If you’ve been seriously injured in an SUV rollover or a 15-passenger van rollover, you are legally entitled to hold the auto manufacturer responsible for your physical injuries and associated financial costs. The Philadelphia auto product liability lawyers at Reiff & Bily (/) represent clients through out Pennsylvania and work on a contingent fee basis, charging a small percentage of the recovery. We do not get paid unless there is a successful recovery. We have had handled thousands of automobile accidents and rollover accidents cases and have successfully recovered in excess of $150 million dollars from our opponents for physical injuries and emotional damages.
Call (215) 274-0072 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation with an experienced Reiff & Bily SUV accident attorney.