Many drivers mistakenly believe SUVs are safer than smaller cars and minivans because the larger size provides more protection during a collision. However, SUVs are actually just as dangerous to operate, if not more so, because of their propensity to roll over. Approximately 10,000 fatal SUV rollover crashes occur each year, a staggering statistic considering SUV accidents only account for 3 percent of all fatal and nonfatal automobile accidents. Our firm has successfully represented many SUV rollover victims throughout the United States. By choosing a lawyer from Healy Scanlon Law Firm for representation, you will benefit from their expertise in the design defects of SUVs and the causes of rollover crashes. Over the years, we have earned the trust of Illinois and nationwide SUV rollover victims. Each attorney is committed to providing effective and efficient legal representation.
The History of SUV Regulations
Since Ralph Nader first brought the issue of vehicle safety into the public arena in the 1960s, automobile safety and preventative standards have been on the national agenda, with SUV crashworthiness at the forefront of these issues. Unfortunately, lobbyists for the powerful, multi-billion dollar automobile companies have successfully lobbied congress to prevent federal regulations of SUV manufacturers, as these regulations could be costly to the automobile industry. Despite irrefutable evidence proving the design of sport utility vehicles was extremely dangerous, the federal government has done little to prevent such accidents.
In February 2003, the automobile industry voluntarily offered to institute general SUV safety standards. Joan Claybrook, president of the important and influential consumer rights group Public Citizen, thinks the offer is a deceptive ploy to avoid establishing any real changes. At Healy Scanlon Law Firm in Illinois, we protect the rights of SUV rollover victims. Each attorney at our firm is qualified to provide support where the government has failed. Through successful legal representation, each SUV rollover lawyer at our firm places the safety of passengers above the auto industry's concern for profits.
Cause of SUV Rollover Accidents
The design of the modern SUV contains inherent structural flaws, which create a high propensity for rollover. SUV manufacturers are fully cognizant of these structural errors but have consciously chosen not to rectify these flaws in favor of profits. These design flaws include:
- Higher Center of Gravity : SUVs are generally higher vehicles with narrow base widths. This structural characteristic makes SUVs top-heavy, resulting in a higher center of gravity and a higher tendency to rollover than cars with low centers of gravity.
- Added Weight : Because SUVs are designed to carry heavy loads, they are much heavier than cars and minivans. Most consumers believe this extra weight contributes to greater vehicle stability, but this is simply not true. The added weight above the center of gravity actually increases the vehicle's tendency to rollover.
- Lack of Safety Features : The SUV was originally intended for use as an off-road vehicle. However, as SUVs became popular family vehicles, off-road safety features such as roll bars were removed. Unfortunately, SUV manufacturers neglected to alter the overall design of the vehicle in order to compensate for the removed safety features.
At Healy Scanlon Law Firm, located in Chicago IL, each of our lawyers are committed to assisting accident victims in the fight against the dubious practices of the SUV manufacturing industry. Our record indicates that we have won important victories to try and force the SUV industry to rethink their subordination of safety to profit.
SUV Rollover Collisions
According to national statistics, most SUV rollover accidents occur off-road. This means when a driver loses control of his SUV and rides off the pavement, the SUV can be tipped by the ground or curb and rolls over. SUVs are also notorious for flipping when traveling at low speeds. Because of the track width to height ratio, even the slightest impact or maneuvering error can cause the SUV to become unstable and roll.
SUV rollover accidents have devastating and frequently fatal results. Passengers often sustain serious head and neck injuries when the flimsy roof of the SUV collapses under the impact of the roll. Common safety features such as seat belts and airbags do not provide any protection from these types of injuries. Other common injuries suffered during an SUV rollover result from full or partial ejection from the vehicle. When an SUV rolls, the passengers' limbs or entire bodies are flung from the vehicle, resulting in serious and often fatal injuries.
Most of the common injuries associated with SUV rollover accidents could be prevented if SUV manufacturers committed themselves to making the necessary structural changes to the current design of modern SUVs. Consumer groups have labored tirelessly to raise awareness of this fact but have been unable to make much progress. Most consumers still incorrectly believe SUVs are safer for transportation. At Healy Scanlon Law Firm, we have joined the resistance against the negligent actions of SUV manufacturers. In Chicago, Illinois and throughout the nation, SUV rollover victims can look to any qualified attorney at our firm for compassionate aggressive protection of their legal rights.
For those who would like further information about SUV rollover accidents, contact a qualified lawyer at Healy Scanlon Law Firm. We will provide you with a free initial consultation explain all of your legal options and evaluate your case.