* Loading: The center of gravity of an SUV is affected by the number of people carried, as well as the amount, weight and distribution of cargo. Overloading the vehicle or the overhead cargo rack raises the center of gravity, increasing the risk of rollover.
* Tires: Tire size, pressure and maintenance are keys to SUV safety. Drivers should monitor each of these elements, and take them into account when loading and driving an SUV.
* Seat belts: Perhaps the most preventable cause of death in the event of an SUV rollover is ejection from the vehicle. Eighty percent of deaths in SUV rollovers occur because occupants are unbelted.
The SUV Safety Campaign is anchored by its mascot, ESUVEE, a 16-foot long, 10-foot wide and 12-foot tall beast that serves as a focal point of the Campaign. ESUVEE is also the star of the Campaign’s Web site, www.ESUVEE.com, a source of tips and information about safe operation and maintenance of SUVs. Throughout the year, the Web site will also provide information on upcoming events where ESUVEE can be seen, such as SUV Safety Days in individual states.
“Driving SUVs like ordinary cars invites disaster. Awareness of SUV safety – especially stopping rollovers – can mean survival to countless Americans,” said Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal. “Smart drivers can save lives with some simple steps: avoid speeding, sudden maneuvers, and overloading. Our education campaign targets young men, who may be most vulnerable and most difficult to reach. If you think this message is hype, look at the numbers – thousands of young Americans killed in rollover crashes every year.”
“SUVs can give you a sense of invincibility, but if you lose control they become very dangerous due to their weight and high center of gravity,” said David Champion, senior director, Auto Test Department, Consumer Reports. “To reduce SUV rollover risk, choose one that has not tipped in National Highway Traffic Safety Administration tests, has performed well in Consumer Reports tests, and is equipped with electronic stability control.”
The ESUVEE Safety Campaign’s initiatives promoting the safe use of SUVs are framed by the question “How Do You Ride?” The question is meant to provoke SUV drivers and passengers to consider how to make themselves safer in an SUV. For more information, visit www.ESUVEE.com.
Courtesy of ARA Content