Modern SUVs continue to go through continuous transformations in response to the worries that they may represent a risk of rolling over. One of the rationalities behind this possibility finds its basis in geometry; vehicle manufacturers developed a system that would reduce the rollover risk: the Electronic Stability Control (ESC). ESC was introduced in the United States in 1997, and results have shown it to be highly effective, notably lowering fatal single-vehicle accidents by 63% and deadly single-vehicle rollovers by 88%.
A recent estimation also states that as many as ten thousand fatal crashes per year could be easily avoided if all vehicles were equipped with the ESC. The Electronic Stability Control is known by many names:
- Electronic Stability Program - Audi, Mercedes, Saab, and VW
- Dynamic Stability Control - BMW, Land Rover, and Jaguar
- StabiliTrak - Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, and Pontiac
- AdvanceTrac - Ford and Lincoln
- Vehicle Dynamics Control - Subaru and Nissan
- Dynamic Stability & Traction Control - DSTC (for Volvo)
- Stability Management System - Porsche
How Does the Electronic Stability Control Work?
The Electronic Stability Control operates using sensors that intervene on the driver's behalf when they are about to lose control of the vehicle. The system contains anti-lock brakes with speed sensors and an independent breaking potential that allows it to automatically brake wheels separately to keep the car on the road.
For example, if a driver performs an emergency maneuver or makes a sudden turn, the ESC adjusts the brakes, throttle, or tire suspension to help keep the vehicle under control.
The system really comes in handy when driving on wet or icy roads and is extremely helpful to SUV drivers, as it has the potential to prevent 64% of SUV rollovers, experts say. One major benefit would be minimizing the driver's stress when dealing with bad weather conditions.
In order to integrate ESC, the car must have both ABS and TCS, being, in fact, an extension of the two. Although its primary purpose is to be kept on all the time, some versions have an off switch that can be used when the ESC controls the car in unwanted situations - when the vehicle gets stuck in mud or snow.
Since SUVs were top-heavy vehicles, they were at high risk for rolling over when suddenly steering. With rollovers being less of a factor, SUVs currently have the lowest accident death rates, and they can once again rely on their most significant selling advantage: their safety.
However, the Electronic Stability Control is not perfect:
- Most ESCs cannot perform their functions if, for example, the car's speed is too high to apply the needed traction to the driver's intended maneuver.
- In some cases, ESCs can even malfunction: a problem in the system will normally illuminate a dashboard warning sign meaning traction control is disabled, and, in some cases, the anti-lock braking system is blocked as well.
- Whatever error the ESCs may present that doesn't impact the driving itself, it just means that whoever's driving must be particularly careful on wet or icy pavements.
Rollover Accident Statistics
Vehicles roll over in less than 3% of all crashes, and deaths can be prevented with electronic stability control and strong roofs. According to a national daytime observational survey of motorists, safety belt use was 8% among front-seat occupants in the course of one year.
Unrestrained vehicle occupants are more likely than restrained occupants to be fatally injured in a crash, so belt use is much lower among fatally injured occupants. Although rare, rollover crashes are deadly:
- They account for more than a third of passenger vehicle occupant deaths.
- In just one year, 21,268 passenger vehicle occupants died in crashes of all kinds. Of those, 7,067 died in crashes where their vehicle rolled over.
- Rollovers are much more common for SUVs and pickups than for cars. 50% of SUV occupants killed in crashes were in vehicles that rolled over. In comparison, 45% of deaths in pickups and 24% in cars were in rollovers.
Contributing circumstances in these crashes included:
- Excessive speed
- Improper loading
- Vehicle design
- Defective tires
- Negligent driver
- Road conditions
What Documents Do You Need for a Rollover Claim in Miami?
We require our clients to bring along all necessary documents, including:
- Contact details of the other driver and possible witnesses
- Copy of the police report filed
- Copy of your medical records
- Documents attesting any previous repairs of the vehicle
- Documents attesting the costs of damages sustained by the vehicle
- Documents certifying when and where you purchased the vehicle
- Pictures from the scene of the accident
- Your medical bills related to the crash
There is no need to worry in case you do not have all these documents: we can obtain most of them with your written agreement.
How Can an Attorney Help With Your Rollover Claim?
Proving liability in a rollover accident is usually a complicated process, especially if design or manufacturing defects are involved. If you or a loved one sustained severe personal injuries due to a rollover crash, you should contact our office as soon as possible. In most cases, SUV rollover accidents are followed by serious injuries or even death. The most common of these injuries may include:
If you or your loved one have been injured in an SUV rollover accident, contact The Law Offices of Sean M. Cleary today.