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Two car loads of children on their way to school got into a crash recently, sending seven passengers under the age of fifteen to the hospital. Most of the injuries were minor, but the December 6 crash highlights a risk that was much publicized several years back but seems to be ignored or accepted by most drivers today: rollovers.
Reports suggest that one of the vehicles, a Saturn, ran a traffic light at the intersection of Schaefer Highway and Pembroke Avenue on the west side of Detroit. The Saturn reportedly crashed into a Ford Explorer passing through the intersection, causing it to roll. The Explorer had six children inside, while the Saturn had one young passenger.
All suffered injuries, but there are indications that all or most of the children were wearing seatbelts, which might have contributed to the lessened severity. Nonetheless, the crash was serious enough that one of the children in the Explorer, a six-year-old, had to be cut free with the Jaws of Life.
Rollovers are uncommon—they typically happen in about 3 percent of motor vehicle crashes in a given year—but they are disproportionately dangerous, accounting for about 30 percent of all crash deaths. Those numbers have been diverging even more in recent years. In 2010, only 2.1 percent of crashes included a rollover, but they caused 35 percent of fatalities.
Much has been made of the rollover risk inherent in certain vehicles. SUVs are often cited as having far more rollover risk than other vehicles, and while this danger has often been exaggerated, it can’t be ignored. It remains true that SUVs, on average, are about three times more likely to have a rollover during a crash than a more traditionally designed passenger car.
They’re even more likely to roll than pickups and vans, vehicles which have historically suffered more rollovers than cars. That risk is important because more than one-third of fatalities in SUV crashes happen in rollovers.
As long as there are motor vehicles, there will probably be crashes, but they don’t have to end in tragedy. Safety improvements, including a 2009 upgrade to vehicle roof strength standards intended to make rollover crashes less deadly, continue to reduce the risk for vehicle occupants. We were relieved, as we expect the families were, to learn that no one died in the recent Detroit rollover crash.
When you or someone close to you has been injured in a crash, it’s important to hold those who caused that harm accountable. The experienced Detroit car accident lawyers at David Christensen Law have helped many victims recover fair compensation in their motor vehicle-related personal injury cases.
We offer clients a free consultation to discuss their case, so give us a call today at 248-213-4900 or fill out the online contact form below to learn more.