Despite some negative press about the risk of rollover, SUVs are among the safest vehicles on the road
Following the Ford Explorer/Firestone tire rollover scandal of 2000 to 2002, SUVs acquired a reputation as being unsafe vehicles. While SUVs do roll over more often, they are still among the safest vehicles on the road. To ensure you and your family stay safe, you need to make sure that you know how to handle your vehicle properly.
One thing that contributed to the SUV’s undeserved unsafe reputation is that their size and weight will make your vehicle more hazardous to other vehicles if involved in a crash.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, roughly 10,000 people die in rollover-related accidents each year. Most of these accidents occur in SUVs and are usually the result of the driver not operating the vehicle correctly. Therefore, in this way, it is not the vehicle that is unsafe, but rather the driver who may have been going too fast, or otherwise not paying attention.
Before purchasing your new SUV, you should take some time to research the safety options that will make driving an SUV safer. In addition, if you’re new to driving an SUV, you should familiarize yourself with a few safety tips on operating your vehicle safely.
Using the compiled data of auto accidents occurring on U.S. roads between 2006 and 2009, the Institute for Highway Safety found that the fatality rates for SUV drivers was roughly 50% lower than other vehicles.
However, before you trade in your sedan, you should be aware of a few things.
- Before the development of electronic stability control (ESC), SUVs were more prone to roll over in collisions because they are more top-heavy. This alone worked to negate their safety benefits of size and weight.
- This study only looked at vehicles from the 2005 – 2008 model years. This means that vehicles from other years may fare the same; however, they need to be equipped with ESC, which is now standard on 96% of all SUVs
- Not all cars performed poorly. Luxury vehicles, for example, are quite safe.
SUV Driving Tips
Safety features can often help you avoid an accident; however, driving practices are even more important. One thing to be aware of is that size matters. Midsize cars generally weigh between 3000 and 4000 lb., midsize SUVs weigh 3700 to 5000 lbs. and large SUVs weigh 5000 to 7100 lbs.—carrying this extra weight makes stopping and changing direction more difficult.
In order to deal with these weight differences:
- Increase your following distance
- Drive with a super-abundance of caution in the snow and rain
- Watch your speed through turns
- In the event you have to move quickly to avoid hitting something, be as smooth as you can, and don’t overcorrect
For more information about this and other vehicle-related issues, please continue to browse our blog. In addition, if you’re in the market for a vehicle, we would love to be of service to you! To learn more about new or pre-owned car sales in the Whiteman AFB and Warrensburg area, contact us at 660-826-2700 or come on down to our lot at 2901 S. Limit (US Hwy 65) in Sedalia today.