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Products Liability > Seatbelt Defects

Some sport utility vehicles (SUVs) will roll over under conditions where other vehicles simply slide out. These rollovers often occur when a driver swerves to avoid hitting something or momentarily drifts partially off the roadway, gets back on the road and then tries to straighten the vehicle.

SUV, Truck & Van rollovers account for more than 10,000 fatalities in the United States each year. The high number of rollover accidents are due in part to the popularity of Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs). According to NHTSA rollover statistics, SUV's have the highest rollover rate of any class of vehicles with more than 90 percent of the rollovers occuring after the vehicle leaves the pavement and travels onto the shoulder, into a ditch or a ravine.

Car manufacturers that market unstable SUVs typically blame the driver. However, testing conducted in cases demonstrates how minor modifications such as lowering the center of gravity and widening the wheel base, can make the difference between a vehicle that tips over and one that merely slides out.  Due to the high rollover rate of SUVs, an occupant driving or riding in a SUV is more likely to die in a SUV rollover accident than in a passenger car. Occupants in a rollover accident are often injured when the vehicle's weak roof supports and roof pillars collapse under the weight of the vehicle. Roof crush and roof collapse / roof pillar failures account for many serious head injuries, paralysis, spinal cord injuries and deaths each year in these roll overs. Once a rollover starts to occur an occupant may have additional injuries from defective seat belt buckles, seatback failures, door locks or latches failing to stay locked, airbag deployment failures, lap only seat belts and seatbelt buckles that open during a rollover crash.

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Seatbelt Defects
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