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Are SUVs getting safer?

You may remember a national television and print campaign several years back that was created to raise awareness, especially among younger drivers, of the dangers of driving an SUV. The campaign featured a person riding a creature that resembled a cross between an SUV and a bull in a bull riding competition. The campaign made the point that SUVs are inherently more prone than other styles of vehicles to rolling over in accidents or difficult handling situations, making them more dangerous to inexperienced drivers. Here in 2016, the state of SUV safety has greatly improved.

The good news is that SUVs tendency to roll over in dangerous situations has been greatly mitigated in the nearly 20 years since the body style rose to prominence in the domestic market. Much of this is due to the expansion of the what is included in the SUV body style, growing to include the crossover classification as well. Crossovers are a class of vehicle that is essentially a car that is designed to look and feels more like an SUV, while maintaining a lower overall center of gravity. This lower center of gravity decreases its tendency to roll over in an accident, meaning that the SUV/Crossover class as a whole enjoys lower rollover statistics.

But, it's not just a shuffling of the numbers that have made SUVs safer over the last two decades. Manufacturers have made leaps and bounds in technological advances that promote safety. Electronic stability systems, for instance, can in some cases detect that a rollover is taking place and take measures to prevent it from completing. Some models also feature side curtain airbags that deploy downward from the ceiling of the cab, protecting the window area in case of a rollover. Overall, SUVs are much safer than they were even 10 years ago.

Sadly, regardless of the safety precautions one takes, accidents can and do happen. If you have been injured in an automobile accident, you deserve to be made aware of any opportunities you may have to be compensated for your losses. The assistance of an experienced attorney can help guide you as you explore your options.

Source: Cars.com, "SUVs, Crossovers and Safety," Joe Wiesenfelder, accessed Oct. 06, 2016

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