Sport utility vehicles have the highest rate of deaths occurring in rollovers. Everyday in the United States there are hundreds of SUV, van & light truck rollovers. Often times these rollovers are caused wholly or in part by tire failures, tire tread defects (detreading or delamination), poor stability design, poorly designed suspension system and inadequate brakes. Once the rollover occurs, the occupants face additional dangers from weak roof supports that crush or collapse, weak seatbacks that fail, the lack of headrest or head restraint devices, overly aggressive airbags, defective or poor fitting seat belts, dangerous lap only belts, seat belt buckles that open during crashes and finally window glass / windshields that allow passengers to be ejected during the rollover. Almost 40% of all registered vehicles in the U.S. are light trucks and SUVs. The popularity of sport utility vehicles in particular poses new challenges to both other drivers on the road and the drivers and occupants of SUVs.
SUVs today are some of the most popular vehicles in the world. They include the infamous Ford Explorer, Ford Expedition, Chevy Tahoe, Honda Passport, Isuzu Rodeo, Lincoln Navigator, Toyota 4Runner, Rav4, Toyota Landcruiser, Isuzu Hombre, Ford Escape, Jeep Liberty, Jeep Wrangler, Cherokee , Nissan Xterra, Honda CR-V, Toyota Sequoia, Chevrolet Suburban Trail Blazer and others. These SUV while popular also involved in many rollovers. In some cases the rollover is caused by the carelessness of the driver, but in other rollover accidents, problems with the stability of the vehicle and it’s handling and braking is a major contributing cause of a rollover accident.
It is estimated that over 500,000 15-passenger vans are in use in the United States. The vans include certain models of the Dodge Ram Wagon B350 and Ram Van/Wagon B3500, Ford Econoline van, Ford E350 and Club Wagon E350, Chevrolet Express 3500 and the GMC Savana 3500 and Rally/Vandura G3500. Ford Motor Company sells most of the 15 passenger vans in use in the United States. When 15 seat passenger vans are fully loaded, they become less stable, adding to the risk of a rollover accident, especially when the driver is faced with a sudden emergency steering or braking maneuvers.
During a rollover of a SUV, van or truck, the roof pillars, front roof header and side roof rails often collapse and invade the occupant safety zone. When this happens the roof is pushed into or forced into the occupant, resulting in neck fractures that can render the passenger or driver a paraplegic, quadriplegic or brain damaged or even worst death. These injuries result from shear and flexion forces unto the neck and spinal cord of the occupants. Roof crush injuries are caused by the energy of the vehicle in a roll creating compressive forces pushing down on the top of skull when the head is in an upright position. The compression causes a bursting fracture in the C4 to C7 of the cervical spine. This bursting fracture causes a loss of intravertebral space both anterior and posterior. Diving type injuries can occur from defective seatbelts allowing too much slack and body movement, resulting in the occupant diving into the roof during the rollover. Often it can be proved by biomechanical experts that most of the spinal damage occurs from the roof crushing verses the occupant diving into the roof. Similar neck, head & spinal injuries can also result when the rollover occupant is thrown or ejected from the vehicle during the roll. Even in low speed rollovers the energy that is absorbed by the person ejected during the impact with the pavement or ground is deadly. When a rollover occurs, time is often the worst enemy. Accident scene investigations and evidence preservation is critical to an effective and strong attack against the manufacturers of the deadly vehicles.
Call or write us to help get your questions answered. Do not wait, as the evidence both the physical marks and scrapes on the roadway will disappear with time, the SUV vehicle itself can be altered, dismantled, salvaged or even destroyed. Call us Toll free 1-800-883-9858 to discuss your legal options. Get a Free Rollover Case Evaluation from a Board Certified Personal Injury Trial Lawyer, Certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. No Attorney Fees or Case Cost Expenses, unless we recover for you.