Some Older SUVs are Susceptible to Rollovers

Attorneys Serving Victims of SUV Rollover Accidents in MA & RI

July 4th Harwich Accident Shows Instability of Older Ford Explorers

A July 4, 2016 single vehicle rollover accident in Harwich, on Cape Cod, has once again drawn attention to safety issues with many older model SUVs, particularly Ford Explorers. Some of those who were first on the accident scene indicated the older model Explorer was upside-down partially off the highway, with the driver still inside, but unconscious. That driver suffered significant injuries and was taken to Cape Cod Hospital. Although details of the incident are still sketchy, some speculated that perhaps the driver lost control when one or more of his wheels moved off the pavement and he overreacted, trying to pull the Explorer back onto the rod. In various safety tests, the Explorer has been shown to be prone to rollovers while such maneuvers were attempted.

Earlier Safety Reports regarding Explorers

Indeed, while newer models of the Ford Explorer have improved safety records, older models are problematic and there are many—like the one involved in the Harwich accident—still on American highways. Readers might recall that in 2005, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) issued a safety report, finding Ford Explorer (the two-door, two-wheel drive models) made between 1999 – 2002 had the fourth highest rate of driver death of the 47 SUVs tested. While safety has improved across the board with SUVs, the IIHS indicates pickups and SUVs are still proportionally more likely than cars to be in fatal single-vehicle crashes, especially rollovers. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), in terms of fatalities per registered vehicle, rollovers are second only to frontal crashes in their level of severity.

Vehicles Can “Trip”

The NHTSA warns that most rollovers occur when the vehicle “trips.” Tripping happens when a vehicle leaves the roadway and slides sideways, digging its tires into soft soil or striking an object such as a curb or guardrail. The high tripping force applied to the tires in these situations can cause the vehicle to roll over. Numerous conditions can add to the likelihood of tripping, including:

  • Soft soil
  • Guardrails
  • Steep slopes

While rollovers can occur without vehicle tripping, the NHTSA estimates that only 10 percent of rollovers involve “un-tripped” conditions.

Rollovers Often Cause Serious Injury

As with the unfortunate Harwich accident, rollovers often result in serious injuries and even death. Accident victims face hospitalization, lost time from work, huge medical bills, and significant levels of pain and suffering. Such victims may be able to recover monetary damages for these losses. In most instances, however, the victim needs the assistance of a highly skilled attorney.

Have you or a loved one been injured in an auto accident? If so, you deserve skillful, energetic, and experienced attorneys to help you prepare your case. The injury lawyers at the Bottaro Law Firm, LLC have the resources to investigate the accident and fight to protect your legal rights. We will pursue your case at no cost until we win. Remember that delay can harm your case. Our experienced legal team is available 24/7 for a free consultation. Give us a call at 866–529–9700, or complete the convenient online contact form.