Many Americans mistakenly believe that a larger vehicle increases the safety of the driver and other vehicle occupants during an accident. However, the facts demonstrate that there are too many variables involved in car crashes to make this simplistic assumption in all cases.
One of the reasons many motorists are purchasing minivans, SUVs, and pickup trucks is the hope that their extra size and bulk will keep them safer in the event of an accident. They believe the larger surrounding structure will minimize the injury risks they face upon impact with another vehicle. In addition, they assume that the extra height of their vehicle will give them a more unobstructed view of the road.
While it is true that higher seating positions can make it easier to see, a “taller” vehicle is not necessarily a safer one. As Ian Law of Wheels.ca explains, there are a number of reasons why a larger vehicle may sometimes pose a greater risk to occupant safety during a crash.
The problem of big vehicles rolling over
Due to the higher center of gravity in SUVs and pickup trucks, these vehicles are more likely to rollover after colliding with another vehicle or object. Rollovers can result in serious head injuries for vehicle occupants. The instances of rollovers for larger vehicles are significantly higher in single vehicle crashes.
Extra mass can actually decrease occupant safety
All that extra weight can actually pose a bigger safety risk, too. In fact, according to the laws of physics, the greater the mass that’s involved in a crash, the more energy that must be released. When an oversized SUV collides with another vehicle or with a wall it generates more energy that needs to be dissipated compared to a smaller vehicle.
Speed is also important. Larger vehicles can require longer stopping distances, and drivers may not be able to maneuver them as easily. Because of this, it could be difficult to avoid a crash if you’re driving an SUV or a truck. The ability to avoid an impact is much better than the hope of surviving a car accident upon impact. In most cases, smaller sized vehicles, due to their smaller mass, give drivers more maneuverability and the ability to stop in shorter distances.
If you have been injured in a collision, the injury attorneys at Harris Lowry Manton LLP are here to help. We are a team of experienced trial attorneys who have successfully represented auto accident clients throughout Georgia. To schedule a free consultation about your case, call our team today at 912.417.3774 in Savannah, or 404.998.8847 in Atlanta. Or, simply use our contact form to send a message.