Las Vegas sees its fair share of alcohol and drug-impaired drivers. Earlier this month, an impaired driver was killed in a single-vehicle accident at South Durango Drive and West Badura Avenue. It is believed that the driver lost control, causing their 1990 Nissan Pathfinder to roll over. The driver died at the scene.
Fatal crashes don’t need to involve more than one vehicle when the driver loses control. Particularly when it involves alcohol or drug impairment, single-vehicle crashes often result in fatalities.
According to a study conducted by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, drivers with blood alcohol levels of more than 0.15% are three times as likely to die in a single-vehicle accident than their non-drinking counterparts.
The Perfect Storm
We know that drinking and driving creates an added risk of a fatal accident. Add the rollover risk of an SUV, and you have a recipe for disaster.
While most people believe that SUVs are safer than passenger vehicles, the opposite may be true. SUV rollovers account for approximately 11,000 fatalities each year. Even the most sober driver can cause an SUV spinout or rollover if they attempt to maintain control by overcorrecting. Unfortunately, adding driver impairment to the mix never helps.
Anatomy of an SUV Rollover
From a design standpoint, SUVs are far more likely to result in single-vehicle rollovers. Given their higher center of gravity and narrower wheelbase than a typical passenger vehicle, SUVs are more prone to “tripping” accidents when a driver veers to avoid an obstacle, drives off the side shoulder of a highway, or even hits a curb. SUV design makes it inherently difficult to recover control in these scenarios.
Safety Experts Have Warned Manufacturers of Dangers
Over the decades that SUVs have become the preferred vehicles of soccer moms and families, experts have warned manufacturers of their dangers. A large study showed that SUVs were five times more likely to roll over in an accident than passenger vehicles. But manufacturers have been slow to address these dangers.
For those involved in SUV rollover accidents, common injuries and fatalities often involve roof crushes. When SUVs became common road vehicles instead of the original off-road intent, manufacturers did away with some of the utility design elements such as roll bars.
Consequently, most SUVs on the road lack adequate roof reinforcement, causing the support pillars to collapse in a rollover accident.
An SUV in these accidents basically gets crushed like a can when stepped on. This can cause seatbelts, fastened to the roof, to malfunction and windows to break. This means that occupants are often either crushed or get thrown from the vehicle during an SUV rollover.
While driving while impaired is never a good idea, we can surmise that the fatally injured driver in the single-vehicle rollover of earlier this month may have had a better chance of survival if they hadn’t been driving an SUV.
Getting Legal Assistance
If you have been involved in an SUV rollover accident, the personal injury team LV Personal Injury Lawyers may be able to help you recover compensation for your injuries.
Contact us or call us at (702) 800-4660 to schedule a no-cost consultation.