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Sunday morning, a Philadelphia teenager was killed and another injured when their SUV flipped over, ejecting one teen from the vehicle. Authorities do not yet know what caused the accident, but believe that speeding may have been a factor.
According to residents, drivers often speed down the road and through the intersection where the accident occurred — Krewstown Road and Grant Avenue. One resident explained he has seen “four cars in [his] lawn” in less than one month. The city plans to erect new lights at the intersection in the next few months.
Speeding to make a light can be deadly, especially in SUVs. Unlike cars, SUVs have a high center of gravity and are “top heavy.” This greatly increases the chances for rollover accidents, especially if the vehicle is travelling at a high speed and runs over a curb or into a structure.
While rollovers account for only three percent of vehicle accidents, they cause more than 30 percent of all motor vehicle fatalities. If you own an SUV, how can you protect your family from a rollover crash?
Here are some tips:
• Speed contributes to nearly 40 percent of all fatal rollover accidents. Pay attention to how fast you are driving.
• Wear your seatbelt. One half of all rollover deaths are caused by ejection from the vehicle, which generally occurs when someone is not wearing his or her seatbelt.
• Pay attention to how much cargo you have in your vehicle. Do not overload your roof. Instead, put your heaviest loads on the floor, near the center of the vehicle.
• Make sure your tires are in good shape. This means checking tire pressure at least once a month. Tire blowouts are a prime culprit of vehicle rollovers.
• If you are considering buying another SUV, consider purchasing a newer model. These vehicles have better safety systems, including electronic stability control, and have caused fewer deaths.
Most importantly, drive safely. Rollovers are triggered by events such as rolling over a curb at high speeds or being hit by another vehicle. SUVs should be better built to prevent these deaths, but drivers must also do their parts to protect against rollovers.
Source: NBC 10 Philadelphia, “Philly Teen Girl Dies in Bustleton Accident,” Sam Chamberlain, David Chang, Feb. 17, 2013