Friday, October 17, 2008

SUV and Vehicle Safety Issues

Rollover crashes involving sports utility vehicles (SUVs) are often fatal and without the necessary mechanisms to ensure the safety of occupants in an SUV, accidents are most likely to result in serious injury or death.

This is what happened to the driver and five passengers of an SUV as mentioned in the article, “None of six in San Jose SUV Rollover Had Seat Belts”, posted on October 14, 2008. According to the article, the serious injuries suffered by the victims were caused by the absence of safety mechanism in the car such as seat belts and child seats.

However, in some cases, accidents are caused not only by driver’s negligence but also by factors beyond his control such as vehicle manufacturing defects.

As several studies have shown, sports utility vehicles are prone to crashes and rollover due to its unstable built. Based on crash tests conducted, most SUV’s have uneven center of gravity, which make it roll over to one side or lose control when it turns sharply on a curve.

Considering this, car manufacturers can be held liable for injuries caused by defects in vehicle design and safety mechanism issues. Under product liability, a car manufacturer is answerable for the harm and damages a vehicle may inflict on its user or driver, including the passengers.

Statistics show that over 12,000 people died last year in rollovers, with SUVs averaging the highest rate at nearly 62 percent while the remaining percentage involved other cars and vehicles. In addition, the rate of serious injury in passenger vehicle rollover crashes is 36 percent higher than in other vehicle crashes where there is no rollover.

Because safety issues are no laughing matter, these can be properly addressed by an expert or someone who has the experience and skills to deal with it, preferably a personal injury lawyer. Thus, victims of accidents due to defective mechanisms and parts or manufacturing defects must seek legal help to obtain their rightful claim for their injuries.