Fatal SUV Accident on New Jersey Turnpike Shows Dangers of SUVs
On April 30, 2012, an 8-year-old girl lost her life when the SUV in which she was a passenger rolled over on the New Jersey Turnpike in South Brunswick, ejecting her from the vehicle. The 48-year-old woman driving the 2004 GMC Envoy lost control of the vehicle and crashed into a barrier, which caused the vehicle to flip over. The girl was transported by helicopter to the hospital, where she was pronounced dead on arrival. The driver and the other passenger, a 17-year-old girl, also went to the hospital to have their injuries treated. That tragic auto accident is a reminder of how older SUVs are particularly vulnerable to rollover accidents.
SUV Rollover Risks
When SUVs began to gain popularity in the U.S. in the 1990s, safety experts noticed an alarming trend: the vehicles were much more likely to tip over than other passenger vehicles. The higher center of gravity and the narrower track width made SUVs top-heavy and more likely to roll when struck in an accident. Additionally, SUVs are larger than most cars, so they often carry more passengers or cargo than cars. The added weight contributed to the chances of a rollover accident in these already unstable vehicles.
Design Improvements in Newer Models
Vehicle manufacturers have made design changes to improve the safety of SUVs. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, about two-thirds of the passenger fatalities in SUV accidents were from single-vehicle rollover accidents in 2002. By 2009, however, someone driving a car from 2009 was almost two times as likely as someone driving an SUV from 2009 to die in a rollover accident, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Electronic Stability Control systems found in later-model SUVs are responsible for much of the declining number of fatalities. ESC systems help drivers keep control of their vehicles, lessening the chances of skidding and rolling over.
Consult an Attorney
While later-model SUVs may have improved safety features, many older SUVs are still on the roads posing a safety risk to passengers in those vehicles and other drivers on the roads. If you have been injured in an auto accident, talk to an experienced personal injury lawyer who can help you receive just and proper compensation for your losses.
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