While SUVs are marketed as the safest cars on the market, what many consumers don’t know is that they’re more dangerous than normal passenger cars when it comes to motor vehicle accidents. This is because their high center of gravity and narrow wheelbase make them prone to rollovers.
Causes of Injury in Rollovers
The most common cause of spinal cord injury and paralysis in SUV rollovers is roof collapse. Because roof strength of most SUVs is inadequate to withstand a rollover accident, the roof collapses onto the heads of the occupants, causing crushed necks and spines. Roof collapses also cause broken windows and holes in the car through which occupants can be ejected.
Rollovers can be avoided by drivers who travel below 65 miles per hour, and take care not to make sudden fast or sharp turns. In addition, the roof collapse that often results from rollovers could be avoided if manufactures redesigned SUV roof pillars and the supports inside them. It’s estimated that such a redesign would cost manufactures just $50 per vehicle.
Current Safety Standards
Current safety standards stipulate that roofs of SUVs don’t have to be designed to support the weight of the vehicle itself. Due to the amount of SUV rollovers and their devastating effects, several consumer advocacy groups are petitioning the government to update current standards.