The pickup truck is one of the most popular vehicles in New Mexico, along with SUVs. These larger vehicles offer many advantages for hauling equipment and traveling on rougher rural roads in all seasons, but their utility often comes with a high price. Driving a SUV or pickup increases your risk of being seriously injured or killed in a rollover accident.
While rollover accidents represent only 3 percent of all automobile crashes nationwide, they are responsible for 30 percent of all fatalities. However, in New Mexico, nearly 40 percent of fatal traffic accidents in 2011 occurred when a vehicle flipped over once or several times. Because vehicles that sit higher off the ground have a higher center of gravity, they are more likely to tip and roll when they're heading around a curve or changing direction too quickly. Many do not have roofs that are strong enough to remain intact after colliding with the ground during a rollover.
Following these tips can decrease the likelihood of a rollover accident:
- Always wear your safety belt.
- Do not speed.
- Replace worn tires with the original make and keep them properly inflated.
- Do not exceed recommended load limits.
- Choose a newer model car with an electronic stability control system.
Manufacturers have improved the design of small trucks and SUVs and added safety features, but they have resisted changes that would keep the roof from buckling in the event of a rollover. Seat belt failure can also make the outcome of this kind of accident much worse.
Our New Mexico auto injury lawyers are knowledgeable about rollover accidents and can explain your options for filing a claim, including that of holding third parties responsible if defective parts or poor road conditions are involved.