Large Vehicle Rollovers and Other Hazards
While driving a larger vehicle is normally safer in most scenarios, there is a greatly increased risk of rollover. This is because larger vehicles typically have more weight up high and a relatively narrow wheel base. By moving the center of gravity so high up, larger vehicles such as SUVs, pickup trucks, and passenger vans can rollover much easier than smaller cars, even when driving at the same speed around a curve. In fact, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reports that SUVs have a much higher fatal rollover rate than sedans. An even more dangerous vehicle, though, is the 15-person passenger van.
15-Person Passenger Vans and Lethal Rollovers
Unfortunately, one of the most dangerous vehicles allowed on the roads is one that frequently transports school children, sports teams, youth groups, church groups, and people traveling to and from the airport during a long-awaited vacation. These extended vans have so much weight up high and so much weight far back behind the rear axle, that they are incredibly hard to control at higher speeds. The rollovers are often fatal, especially since many of the passengers fail to wear seatbelts. One way to decrease the danger of these vans is to never fully load them, despite this being their purpose–to carry large loads of luggage and passengers. However, when these 15 passenger vans are fully loaded, they are three times more likely to rollover than when they are not fully loaded.
Fatal Rollovers Often Occur In Rural Areas at High Speed
Fatal rollovers, many times, only involve one vehicle. In fact, 85 percent of fatal rollovers are single-vehicle accidents. And of these fatalities, 90 percent of the drivers were performing following standard driving procedures like driving straight, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. While driving in a straight line, it may seem difficult to believe that someone could die in a rollover. However, many of these accidents occur because the driver was looking at a cell phone, drunk, or driving at an excessive rate of speed.
Large Vehicles Also Pose a Greater Risk to Other Road Users
Large vehicles offer more safety than smaller vehicles for their occupants. The escalation of vehicle size has resulted in the largest weight ever, with the average vehicle weighing 4,009 pounds in 2010. While it is safer, on average, to drive a larger vehicle, it does come at the cost of other road user’s safety. For every 1,000 pounds in size difference, during a two-party collision, the occupants of the smaller vehicle face a 47 percent increased chance of death. Taller vehicles are also more dangerous in collisions as well. And, large vehicles also have less side and rear visibility, which poses more of a threat to pedestrians, cyclists, and motorcyclists.
The Offices of Gillette Law are Here to Help
If you have been injured in an auto wreck of any kind, contact an experienced Florida car accident attorney today to discuss your legal options of compensation. Call 888-366-5904 to speak with one of our attorneys at Gillette Law, P.A. You may be owed significant financial compensation for your injuries, lost wages, pain and suffering, and property damage.