One person was killed and eight more injured when an SUV rolled over on the 5 Freeway in California. According to the California Highway Patrol, a tire blew on a 2003 Ford Expedition, causing the SUV to roll multiple times. The SUV was travelling at least 80 mph.
Tire blowouts on SUVs frequently cause rollover accidents. SUVs have higher centers of gravity and narrower tracks than cars and are more prone to rollover. This is especially true when SUVs travel at high speeds. While not all SUVs will rollover when a tire blowout occurs, drivers of SUVs should be extra careful when maintaining their tires.
The unfortunate truth is that more than one third of all fatal motor vehicle accidents are caused by vehicle rollovers, and SUVs account for a large percentage of those rollovers. Newer SUVs have stability control systems that stabilize the vehicles after events such as tire blowouts, but there is still more than can be done to make these vehicles more bottom-heavy and safer for all occupants.
Ford SUV rollovers
Ford is no stranger to the blowout-SUV rollover scenario. Its Ford Explorer was under serious scrutiny after tire tread separation led to multiple injury-causing rollovers. The culprit was, in part, defective Firestone tires.
Whether the tires, the SUV, driving conditions or driver error are to blame for the 5 Freeway accident, those injured in the SUV rollover accident and the family of the deceased can bring a personal injury lawsuit to recover compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, loss of income and other damages suffered as a result of the SUV rollover.
Source: CBS Los Angeles, "1 Dead, 8 Injured in 5 Freeway SUV Rollover Crash," Feb. 17, 2013