SUV Rollovers / Ford Explorer Rollovers

Rollover accidents are more likely to result in fatalities than other types of accidents, though they occur less often. Sports-Utility Vehicles (SUVs) are especially prone to rollover accidents compared to other types of automobiles. While many SUVs are susceptible to rollovers, Ford has had many lawsuits brought against it for rollover accidents involving Ford Explorers. They have the worst vehicle stability rating among SUVs.

Rollover accidents kill more than 10,000 people across America each year. The rate of serious injury in passenger vehicle rollover crashes is 36 percent higher than in crashes where there is no rollover. This is because rollover accidents often result in head trauma, which is the most frequent type of injury in a rollover accident.

Sports-Utility Vehicles (SUVs) rollover fatalities accounted for 61% of the rollover fatalities in 2002. They are almost three times more likely to rollover than passenger cars because they are more unstable than passenger cars. SUVs are so unstable because they have a high center of gravity. The high center of gravity coupled with the fact that few SUVs have rollbars (even though they are supposed to be off-road vehicles) and the fact that few meet the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) standards for vehicle roofs make SUVs dangerous cars to drive. It is ironic that while Sports-Utility Vehicles are being touted as ideal family cars by automakers, not a single SUV earned the NHTSA’s highest safety rating according to their annual report.

Rollovers often occur when a car has to take drastic action to avoid a hazard. While the vehicle may respond well to the initial push to avoid the accident, strain is put on it when a swift recovery motion is required to correct the vehicle’s path. Recovering from a sharp, hard turn to avoid a hazard requires a low-center of gravity and wide track width which tests a car’s ability to skid, spin, and recover. Sports-Utility Vehicles often lack the capacity needed to successfully negotiate a tight swerve. SUVs' high-center of gravity can trip up the car and cause it to roll when a hard turn and recovery is made.