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Your SUV will likely “trip” on something before it rolls over

On Behalf of | Apr 4, 2022 | Motor Vehicle Accidents

Any vehicle can roll over although some are more susceptible than others to such an accident. Your SUV, for example.

Many rollovers occur because the vehicle “trips.” What does this mean, and where does responsibility lie?

About tripped rollovers

According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), “trips” cause 95% of rollover accidents. Tripping occurs when a vehicle slides to the side and its tires strike an object, such as a curb or a guardrail, causing the car to flip. A vehicle could also roll over when rounding a curve at a high speed. In working out the data, the NHTSA assigns a Static Stability Factor (SSF) to each kind of vehicle. The formula is one-half of the track width divided by the height of the vehicle’s center of gravity.

Most at risk

Today, improved vehicle design, enhanced safety features and a populace accustomed to wearing seat belts have reduced the number of rollovers and the associated injuries and fatalities. However, narrower, taller vehicles such as vans, pickup trucks and SUVs are most at risk due to a high center of gravity that makes them top-heavy.

Next steps

If your SUV trips on a pothole and rolls over, who bears responsibility? The New York Department of Transportation (DOT) is in charge of both the operation and condition of New York streets, highways, bridges and the Staten Island Ferries. You and your attorney can file a claim for compensation for your injuries and the damage to your SUV. The court may find DOT liable if the Department knew or should have known about the pothole that caused your accident but did not make repairs.