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Do SUVs actually have high rollover rates?

People love SUVs for numerous reasons, but one is the feeling of safety. An SUV is a relatively large and tall vehicle. It provides a lot of mass and protection in an accident, and it's good in poor weather. Drivers feel like crashing in an SUV gives them a higher chance of survival than in a sedan or a convertible.

While this may be true in many accidents, experts warn that there's one serious risk to watch out for: a higher rollover rate.

One study found that no vehicle type had a higher rollover rate than an SUV, at least when looking at deadly crashes. Pickup trucks -- also offering the height and safety of an SUV -- rolled in just 24 percent of fatal accidents, while SUVs rolled in a full 36 percent.

The issue wasn't just with deadly accidents. When looking at crashes in which everyone survived but there were injuries, the rollover rate for SUVs came in at 12 percent. Pickups had the next highest rate, with 7 percent, vans came in at 4 percent and cars rolled in just 3 percent of the accidents.

It's important to know the dangers when buying a new vehicle, but this information also sheds some light on inherent vehicle design flaws. Manufacturers have an obligation to create vehicles that are safe for consumers and then to be honest about the risks, rather than trying to cover them up. If you have been injured or a loved one was killed in a rollover, you may want to seek legal guidance to determine whether the vehicle manufacturer bears responsibility.

Source: PBS, "Rollover: The hidden history of the SUV," accessed May 24, 2017

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Brian Jensen

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