Archive for the ‘Car Accidents’ Category

6 Ways to Prevent SUV Roll-overs On the Roads

Plus, statistics and safety tips for SUV owners
SUVs are one of the most popular vehicles on the road in North America. My family had an SUV for some time before we accidently rolled it over on a local area highway in Colorado. After the roll-over, I was contacted by a personal injury lawyer in Denver who explained the following statistics on SUV ownership with me. I had no idea, and if you own one or are pondering making an SUV you’re next family vehicle, you should be aware of the following statistics as well:

  • 1 out of 4 new vehicles sold in the United States is an SUV
  • An estimated 70,000 SUV rollover on North American roads each year
  • An SUV, in particular, midsized SUVs like the Ford Explorer, is about 16 times as likely as the typical family car to kill occupants of another vehicle in a crash due to their increased size compared to smaller passenger vehicles
  • Single-vehicle rollovers cause 1/4 of motor vehicle fatalities yearly in the U.S.

Why are SUVs prone to roll-overs?

Engineers and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) alike have long pinpointed SUVs as prone to roll-overs-more than common family vehicles or smaller passenger vehicles – like sedans, coupes and even station wagons. But what is it that causes SUVs to be prone to rolling over on roads?

The NHTSA points the finger at the center of gravity for SUVs. It would seem that the SUV is built with a high profile and narrow track width, which makes this style of vehicle particularly rollover prone. If you mix a poor center of gravity with a roof and poor crash protection, which most SUVs are guilty of as well, you can see how a roll-over could be fatal for occupants of SUVs.

What can drivers do to reduce SUV roll-overs?

According to the NHTSA, SUV drivers can do quite a bit to reduce their risk of a roll-over on the roads, for example:

  1. Drive with caution and slow down on rural roads
  2. Never drive under the influence of alcohol or other illegal substances or when excessively drowsy
  3. Don’t speed
  4. Be cautious when loading your SUV-load vehicles evenly on both sides, front to back to even out the higher center of gravity that makes an SUV prone to tipping
  5. If you feel yourself losing control of the vehicle, reduce speeds and pull over until you compose yourself
  6. Check the condition of SUV tires regularly and repair/replace balding tires

What to do when you’ve been in a car accident

Driving a vehicle is probably the most dangerous mode of transportation according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Especially when you consider that in 2007, approximately 6.2 million motor vehicle crashes and over 41,000 traffic fatalities were reported to police. That’s an average of 112 lives lost per day due to car accidents in the United States.

If you’ve been involved in a car accident your whole life flashes before your eyes, and typically, it’s difficult to think clearly because you’re in shock. That’s why it’s not only imperative to know what to do in order to protect your rights if you’re involved in a car accident; it’s also wise to pack an emergency kit containing the following items in case of a collision.

Your vehicle’s emergency kit should include:

  • A cell phone
  • Pen and paper
  • Your medical information-including any prescription drugs, allergies or medical conditions
  • A list of emergency contacts
  • Reflective cones and/or warning flares
  • A first aid kit
  • Your vehicle’s insurance card
  • The name and number for your PI attorney

Although we all do our best to prepare for the worst and drive responsibly, car accidents still occur. Worse yet, they tend to result from a number of factors that are beyond our control-such as drivers talking on cell phones, speeding, texting, reckless driving, failure to obey traffic signals, defective vehicles, and other factors like use of drugs and alcohol. When you consider all of the dangers on the road, you can understand why it’s smart to be prepared.

If you are involved in a car accident, you will likely feel shock followed by fear, anxiety and anger. All of these emotions are normal after being involved in a traumatic event like a car accident. Immediately following a car collision, follow these safety steps:

  • Attempt to compose yourself by taking a few deep breaths
  • Assess yourself for injuries (note that not all injuries are visible)
  • Decide if it’s safe to exit your vehicle
  • If you’re injured or if you can’t get out of your car
  • Keep your seat belt fastened
  • Switch on your hazard lights
  • Call 911 immediately and give the emergency dispatcher this information:
    • Your name and phone number (in case authorities need to reach you)
    • As much detail as you can about the accident, for example, how many vehicles and people are involved, any medical emergencies or immediate dangers
    • Give your exact location-the city, street name, nearest intersection and direction
    • And finally, stay on the line until the dispatcher has all of the information they need to locate you
  • Wait for emergency response to arrive

If you are uninjured and the collision is minor:

  • Turn off your car’s engine
  • Get your emergency car kit
  • Place reflective warning cones or emergency flares around the accident site to alert oncoming traffic

Next, if you are feeling well enough, follow these steps to secure evidence and protect your rights:

1.Use a GPS to identify your location

2.If you haven’t already, call 911 and report your location

3.Check on potentially injured persons

4.Stabilize those who need immediate medical assistance

5.Photograph damage to all vehicles involved in the collision as well as any distinctive features of the road or intersection

6.Draw a rough sketch of the crash site-including the location of each car, the direction they came from, what lane they were in, etc.

7.Record the date, time, and weather conditions

8.Photograph all other drivers involved in the traffic collision

9.Take down license plates and insurance information-ask to see their driver’s licenses, record names, addresses, phone numbers, insurance companies, insurance policy numbers, and license plate numbers

10.If any drivers don’t own the car they were driving, be sure to get the owner’s information

11.Take a complete list of people involved-including other drivers, witnesses and reporting officers

Regardless of the seriousness of your car accident, you will need to contact an experienced PI attorney who will discuss your rights, tell you how to secure the proper evidence, and ensure your protection in the event of an automobile accident. Smartphone applications, such as “My Lawyer” (from Bachus & Schanker) can be uploaded for free to your Android or iPhone as a preventative measure. If you are involved in a traffic collision, the app is instantly at your fingertips with all of the vital information and tools, including:

  • An accident checklist
  • Tips and checklists that help you catalogue and organize photographic evidence
  • Detailed steps for documenting fault, property damage and injury
  • Information for collecting witness and insurance information
  • A quiz to test your legal knowledge
  • An overview of your legal rights
  • A phone number for a free consultation
  • A free initial case inquiry submission