SUV’s Appear to Be Safer Than Cars – Are They?

SUV’s Appear to Be Safer Than Cars – Are They?

The majority of SUV advertisements feature the developing companies touting the safety of their respective vehicles; despite the fact that a SUV is actually more dangerous to be a passenger in than that of a car. There is a measurably comparable difference between what occurs to each during the same circumstance.

Typically, when a car swerves to avoid an object the combined effect of a low center of gravity and the majority of the weight being lower on the car cause a car to slide on its tires as opposed to flipping over. This is illustrated by the fact of the typical car needing to be turned to an almost 90 degree angle before it will topple over, which is the complete opposite of an SUV and trucks that have been lifted.

These taller vehicles, typically with their weight disproportionate, as it is centered to the top of the vehicle, are much easier to flip. This is seen mainly when the vehicle is required to swerve to avoid an object, such as another car. It seems contradictory to tout the safety of a vehicle that, when attempting to avoid a crash, typically crashes itself.

While the two aspects of height and gravity are great for the off-road capabilities, having a top heavy vehicle with a high center of gravity is the direct cause for the ease of which the vehicle rolls and typically killing the occupant. Nearly ten thousand people die each year due to being ejected from their vehicle during a roll, with 74% of people dying from full body ejections in the past 6 years.

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There are considerably less full body ejections from a car due to the vehicle having such a low center of gravity and rarely flipping in crashes. Cars are designed to skid primarily to avoid ejecting their passengers. This is because the tires of a car, when a force is applied to push the car back, will lose friction and slide before they flip over.

Increasing the ease of which a high-rise SUV or truck will flip is one of the primary reasons lift kits and large tires are not the factory standard, and the risk the driver adds to each drive is rarely mentioned in the sale of these items. The higher the truck, and the wider the tires, the easier it is to lose traction and flip the vehicle over typically ejecting the driver and resulting in, at the very minimum, severe injury.