Does Driving an SUV Give You a False Sense of Security?
If you have ever driven an SUV, then you probably know the feeling of having all of that metal and plastic surrounding you as well as all of the heft that comes with that added material. You probably let out a sigh of relief, thinking that all is well in the world because if anything were to happen, at least you would be protected by the civilian tank that you’re driving down the road. But did you ever stop to think that perhaps that trusty SUV is actually giving you a false sense of security?
SUVs are safer to a point
Don’t get us wrong, if you’re driving in a Chevy Suburban and get into a head-on collision with a Honda Civic, then you’re about 10 times safer than the people in the other car. The rules of physics still apply when you drive, which means that if you do drive a larger SUV or even crossover, you will technically be more protected due to the vehicle’s height, weight, and other safety systems. However, if you were to have a rollover accident, then that’s another story.
SUVs are more prone to rolling over
While rollover safety has improved greatly over the years, the fact still remains that SUVs are more prone to rollover accidents than smaller cars. The main reason being that a higher ride height and elevated center of gravity are conducive to making a car rollover when an accident occurs.
On top of that, the SUV would need to “trip” in order for a rollover to happen, which means that it would likely hit a curb, a pothole, or even another car in order for it to roll over. According to Consumer Reports, it has been estimated that 95 percent of rollover accidents are caused by trips.
Does that mean that I should buy a car instead?
Although SUVs have the propensity to roll over, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t buy one. We always suggest getting the vehicle that best suits your lifestyle and daily duties. However, just know that you might not as protected if you happen to roll it over.
If you are worried about rollover safety, then here are few guidelines when it comes to preventing rollovers:
- The newer the SUV, the better: If you can buy a newer SUV with more updated tech features and safety aids, then you will more likely fare better in the case of an accident.
- Wear your seatbelt: This one goes without saying, but wearing your seatbelt is always important, especially in the possibility of a rollover accident.
- Check your tires: The tires are the only things connecting your SUV to the road. So make sure that the tires on your car have enough traction to grip the road and prevent the car from tipping over.
- Watch your speed: This one goes hand-in-hand with wearing a seatbelt. If you’re driving a bigger car, then you might not want to drive it like it’s a sports car. Drive slower to prevent an accident.
Ultimately, owning an SUV can give you a sense of security as there is more metal surrounding you and the higher ride and extra weight can keep you safer on the road. However, just remember that the laws of physics still apply no matter what type of car you are driving. So drive safely, slow down, and always wear your seatbelt.