Prevent an SUV Accident with Top 8 SUV Safety Tips
There is a learning curve for drivers switching from a car to an SUV. With SUVs now representing 60 percent of new vehicle sales in the US and making up 12 percent of all vehicles on the road, it’s time to acknowledge the jump in SUVs involved in deadly motor vehicle accidents and help prepare drivers to drive safely in an SUV.
Manufacturers are working to make SUVs safer but operator error is also a big factor in the amount of accidents accident analysts are seeing. One of the biggest issues is that drivers feel safe and protected when they are in a bigger vehicle and forget the danger they can be to themselves and others on the road; overconfidence leads to ignoring basic caution. While some studies show that people are safer in larger vehicles, crash studies have shown that when you compare SUVs with vehicles of a similar weight, SUVs tend to be less safe than cars.
Top 8 SUV safety tips
- Learn to handle an SUV.SUVs handle differently than smaller vehicles. Because states don’t require additional driver training for SUVs the onus falls on drivers to learn to drive them. The best way to do this is to practice driving in an open space; drivers should become familiar with steering, handling, and braking in different types of weather conditions.
- Be extra cautious of other drivers and pedestrians. Once you’re in an SUV you are higher up and can see farther ahead than drivers of sedans. Be aware that drivers in lower vehicles cannot see into your windshield, making your moves a surprise. Always use turn signals, give time to brake and be very aware of small vehicles and pedestrians around you.
- Place your side-view mirrors to reduce blind spots. Because of the width of SUVs, side-view mirrors may need to be positioned more outward to reduce blind spots. Use them often to check for small vehicles and pedestrians around you.
- Do not make sudden or sharp steering moves. Drivers should know that taller vehicles have a higher risk of rollover accident which makes sharp, fast turns in an SUV especially dangerous. Because of the increased rollover risk, it is especially important for the driver and all passengers to be buckled in safely.
- Brake smartly. Many SUVs need more braking distance to stop safely compared to cars – especially in poor driving conditions. Choose an SUV with anti-lock brakes and learn how to use them. Maintain firm, consistent pressure on the brake pedal; do not use the “pumping” technique that works for older vehicles.
- Drive defensively. Slow down, never tail gate, drive with the flow of traffic, and check your mirrors for cars, cyclists, unexpected objects and pedestrians in the road.
- Check tires regularly. Avoid a blowout accident by checking your tire pressure every month – especially in the cold weather and replacing tires when they are worn down.
- Slow down in a full vehicle. An SUV full of cargo and passengers raises the vehicle’s center of gravity even higher which requires slowing down even more to avoid an accident.
If you or a loved one is suffering from an injury as a result of an accident or error caused by the negligence of another, you have enough on your plate. Let an experienced accident attorney fight for the full compensation that you deserve. It is not uncommon to receive a settlement from the insurance company that is five to ten times bigger with the help of a lawyer. Call the personal injury lawyers at Tario & Associates, P.S. in Bellingham, WA today for a FREE consultation! We have been representing residents of Whatcom County, Skagit County, Island County and Snohomish County since 1979. You will pay nothing up front and no attorney fees at all unless we recover damages for you!