An 8-year-old girl has been killed in Modesto in a rollover accident involving a Ford Explorer.
According to the Modesto Bee, the girl was riding in a 1999 Ford Explorer driven by Turlock-resident Amalia Perez on Sunday, when the SUV "began to shudder." Soon, the left tire of the Explorer blew out, and when Perez tried to control the SUV by slamming on the brakes, the SUV veered to the right, and spun out of control. It left the highway and overturned, as it crashed down an embankment. Perez and a passenger suffered minor injuries, and were taken to the hospital. However, an 8-year-old girl who was in the SUV was ejected from the Explorer, and died at the scene. The California Highway Patrol does not believe that alcohol was a factor in the accident, and no one has been arrested.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2004, 2.7 percent of occupants of cars in a rollover accident were killed. In contrast, only 0.2 percent of occupants in vehicles that crashed but did not rollover, were killed. Besides, the rate of occupants suffering catastrophic injuries or fatalities in rollover accidents, was about 11 percent.
Rollover accidents tend to involve sport utility vehicles more than sedans and other passenger vehicles. In 2004, vehicles involved in a rollover included 23 percent SUVs, compared to 17 percent pickups, and 10 percent passenger cars. In fact, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 60 percent of SUV accident fatalities in 2005 were killed in rollover accidents.
Sports Utility Vehicles may be designed for power, comfort and maximum space, but they also come with a higher center of gravity. This leaves them more likely to tip over, or overturn. Rollover accidents involving SUVs are much more frequent in cases where drivers try to slow down after driving at high speeds, or in the event of a tire blowout. For instance, drivers who suddenly turn the wheel may place their vehicle at a higher risk of rolling over.
One of the most important causes for rollover accidents involving SUVs is a tire blowout. If a tire blow out occurs when the driver is traveling on a highway, the driver may find it difficult to control the vehicle. Tire blowouts can occur because of tread separation in defective tires. In such cases, both the manufacturer of the automobile and the manufacturer of the tire can be held liable for the poorly designed tires. There may be other factors, like the presence of rocks or debris on the road, and potholes that contribute to tire blowouts and rollover accidents.
The most common type of injuries in such cases are head injuries and spinal cord injuries. Most rollover accidents end in severely crushed roofs that seriously injure the occupants inside. The NHTSA has announced that it will be soon begin phasing in newer and tougher standards for roof strength. California rollover accident lawyers will be hoping that these new standards lower the number of deaths that occur in these serious accidents.
The Reeves Law Group is a law firm with offices throughout California dedicated exclusively to the representation of personal injury victims Please visit our website at
trlglaw.com. If you desire a free consultation on a personal injury matter, please call us at (800) 644-8000 or email us.