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What Are the Pros and Cons of Driving an SUV?

Delaware Car Accident Lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC Will Stand by Your Side After an SUV Collision.

One of the biggest factors in vehicle safety is the size. A sport utility vehicle (SUV) may give people the most protection because of its larger size. There is more space between you and another vehicle, and you are sitting up higher, potentially protecting you and your passengers from more serious injuries in a car accident.

Safety features are also crucial to whether a vehicle protects you in an accident. Features like anti-lock brakes, airbags, automatic braking, and collision warning systems are all present in most newer vehicles today. While bigger may almost always be better, without certain safety features, an SUV may be no safer than a regular car.


Every vehicle on the road today is safer than decades ago. A study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) found that 26 percent fewer people died in car accidents in 2015 than 40 years earlier. The study found that SUV accidents have actually risen about 10 times more than regular car accidents.

There is a caveat here, SUV accidents, injuries, and deaths have increased over the past several decades but so has the popularity of SUVs. The study also found that the overwhelming majority of SUV accident deaths were single car accidents. These are usually rollover accidents where the driver is going too fast.

SUVs are extremely safe and perform well in multiple vehicle accidents. Deaths for people in an SUV in a multi-car crash are less likely than in a single SUV accident or for passengers in a regular car in a multi-vehicle crash.

Cars are getting safer overall, and that includes SUVs. While there may be certain types of accidents where SUVs present a danger to occupants, they are generally safer vehicles.

Crash Testing

Much like safety has improved, so has crash testing procedures, and the two are related. The better the testing, the more safety features can be added.

The IIHS regularly tests vehicles for side-impact and head-on collisions. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) tests vehicles for rollover, side, and head-on crashes. Together, these two testing processes provide vehicle manufacturers with detailed information about where their products may fall short in protecting passengers.

These tests also provide consumers with information about which vehicles are safest. You can easily find crash test data online and read reports about how vehicles you are considering purchasing fare in real-world accidents. While you may not want to think about worst-case scenarios like a car accident, it is a good idea to at least check on safety ratings before making a final purchase.

Crash tests from both the IIHS and NHTSA showed that smaller cars crumble when hit at high rates of speed. The ultimate conclusion is that larger vehicles like an SUV can provide occupants with additional protection that smaller vehicles cannot offer.

However, that does not mean SUVS are always better. As shown in the IIHS study referenced above, bigger vehicles can sometimes be more difficult to control, especially for newer and inexperienced drivers. SUVs are much more likely to rollover than regular vehicles because they are top heavy and sit higher off the ground.

SUVs are also less safe for people in other vehicles in the same accident. Because SUVs sit higher, they can hit a smaller car where there is less protection for the passengers. This can cause more serious injuries to people in the other vehicle, even if the accident was the other driver’s fault.

SUVs are also dangerous for pedestrians. A pedestrian could be seriously injured when struck by an SUV, regardless of the speed. An SUV sits much higher off the ground than a regular car, sometimes making it nearly impossible for the driver to see a person right in front of them.

An SUV also provides additional protections for small children and babies. Because they are sitting higher off the ground and the vehicle provides more space between the interior and exterior, small children, especially those in the back seat, are provided with additional protection.

Should You Buy an SUV?

As prices for goods continue to increase, you may be looking for the most economical option. However, you also need to consider safety features and how the vehicle you choose will fare in a crash.

While you can save some money by buying a smaller vehicle, if you get into an accident, you may suffer more serious injuries. Ultimately, it depends on your needs, wants, and budget.

You Cannot Prevent All Accidents

Even the safest vehicle cannot prevent all accidents. You do not have control over how other drivers act on the road. You can only control yourself and your actions.

That is why your best bet to stay safe on the road, no matter what car you are driving, is to be a defensive driver. When you encounter aggressive drives, do not engage with them. Let them pass.

If you are hit by another driver, make sure you take certain steps to preserve the evidence of your crash. This will be crucial to ensure you have every opportunity to collect maximum compensation. You should do the following after an accident:

  • Call 911 to have a police report made, even if you have minor or no injuries.
  • Let emergency medical personnel examine you and treat any minor injuries.
  • Take pictures and videos.
  • Get witness contact information.
  • Get the other driver’s contact information and insurance details.
  • Do not admit fault.

When you collect this evidence, your lawyer will build a case to show that you played no part in the accident. They will also try to get you compensation for the following:

  • Pain and suffering.
  • Emotional distress.
  • Lost income.
  • Lost earning potential.
  • Loss of companionship.
  • Present and future medical expenses.
  • Rehabilitation costs.

Depending on the severity of your injuries, you may not be able to return to work for a long period of time, if at all. This can severely hinder your ability to financially support yourself, cover your medical expenses, and your regular bills. To overcome this challenge and to get the compensation you need to avoid paying out of your own pocket, you may need to file a personal injury claim for damages against the negligent driver.

While a lawsuit may be the last thing on your mind after getting into an accident, it may be your only recourse to cover your medical expenses and other financial losses. The longer you wait to speak with a lawyer, the more likely it is that evidence will go missing and witnesses will forget what they saw. Do not delay reaching out to a skilled lawyer. Once you do, they can take on the burden of trying to get you compensation while you focus on getting better.

Delaware Car Accident Lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC Will Stand by Your Side After an SUV Collision

SUV accidents can be traumatic. Even though you are in a bigger vehicle, you can still suffer serious injuries. To find out your legal options after a collision, speak with one of our Delaware car accident lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC. Call us at 302-888-1221 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. Located in Wilmington, Delaware, we serve clients throughout Dover, Newark, and Middletown.