Rollovers account for 51% of all deaths in standard sport utility vehicles, 36% of deaths in pickup trucks, and 19% of deaths in standard cars. The rollover is an extremely severe automobile accident and an increasingly common one with the growing popularity of sport utility vehicles (SUVs). In 2002, the number of people killed in rollover accidents involving SUVs rose 14 percent.
The high center of gravity and relatively narrow wheelbase of SUVs increase their susceptibility to rollover. Most rollover accidents involve only one vehicle and are typically caused by catastrophic equipment failure (such as a tire blowout – see our special category called Automobiles & Other Motor Vehicles found in the Defective & Dangerous Products section), excessive speed (especially in a curve), or poor road conditions (soft shoulders). The severity of injuries is often directly related to the number of rolls sustained and the use of active restraints (seatbelts). Without sufficient restraints occupants in a vehicle rollover are very likely to be ejected.
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