A Safer SUV: Preventing Rollover

By: Nick Johnson

People are afraid to fly, afraid to play extreme sports, and afraid to bungee jump, and yet they jump into their vehicles without batting an eyelash. Unfortunately, more deaths are contributed to motor vehicle crashes than almost any other health or accident cause.

That doesn't mean you have to stop driving, but what it does mean is that you should take extra precautions to stay safe while on the road, for your sake and for the sake of other drivers. For SUV owners, this means taking positive steps toward preventing SUV rollovers.

SUV rollovers are commonly caused by driving off of the regular road and hitting a ditch, bump, or obstacle, which causes the SUV to flip. However, rollover also can happen when traveling around curves too quickly over in adverse conditions. You can look at your SUV's official rollover report to learn about the safety of your specific vehicle.

In general, a lower center of gravity is preferred, because it means that your SUV is less top-heavy and more likely to stay upright when going around curves. You can consider this on the most basic level by simply comparing your SUV to other SUVs on the market. How far apart are the back wheels and how proportionate is the top half to the bottom half? The father apart the tires and the heavier the bottom half in relation to the top, the safer your SUV will be when it comes to rollover.

If safety is important to you and your family, but you just don't want to give up your top-heavy SUV, you can purchase an ESC (Electronic Stability Control). These devices can greatly reduce your risk of SUV rollovers while traveling in your SUV, and on top of that, it's a pretty cool new gadget to test out in your car!

The ESC using an electronic sensory system to actually detect when you're going to lose control of your SUV. You don't even have to do anything. The ESC will automatically step in and do whatever it needs to do to help your vehicle stay in control. A number of different studies have tested the ESC, and all have concluded that this system can help to save lives, so this product is truly in the industry to save. Unless you absolutely have no way of paying for it, get an ESC for your SUV to prevent SUV rollovers and possibly save lives.

How could an electronic device possible control your vehicle to prevent SUV rollovers? After you install it in your car, the microcomputer will monitor your speed, throttle position, cylinder pressure, acceleration, braking, steering wheel angle, and more. It basically compares what you are trying to do with what the vehicle is actually doing.

For example, it can notice that your breaking and prevent the tires from locking up. How does this help with rollover? The computer can sense when your wheels on one side are beginning to lift and it can use single-tire braking and over methods to help shift weight to keep your SUV stable.

Of course, no system is fool-proof, and the ESC is not a replacement for common sense when you're driving your SUV. The next time you purchase a vehicle, it's a good idea to get an ESC - they're called different things with different makers, so you may see the names StabiliTrak, AdvanceTrac, Vehicle Dynamics Control, and Precision Control System, among other things. However, take SUV rollover prevention into your own hands as well for the safest driving experience possible.

The vast majority of SUV rollovers don't happen when traveling about curves too fast; they happen when you lose control and drive off of the normal road. Off-road, there are things like curbs, ditches, tree roots, and other kinds of bumps that can catch a wheel and spend you flying head over heels. Your ESC system, no matter how well it works, can prevent this type of thing from happening.

Stay safe when driving and you'll go a long way in preventing SUV rollovers. Stay off of your cell phone unless its and emergency, don't eat or play with the radio while driving, and generally keep your attention focused on the road.

Remember, you have to watch out for not only yourself, but other drivers as well, so reaction is as important as personal action. Be informed about vehicular safety and the new products on the market, like the ESC, and with a little common sense, you should be able to avoid all SUV rollover accidents.

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