An SUV was involved in a crash early Tuesday morning when it went out of control and rolled over on Interstate 4 in Florida. As a result, the accident shut down all eastbound lanes, causing traffic to be backed up 9 miles.
A family had rented the 2005 Ford Expedition when the driver lost control and flipped, killing the grandmother who was the driver and injuring the seven passengers. Two of the passengers were not wearing seatbelts and were immediately ejected from the SUV.
The family is from Spokane, Washington and was on vacation at Walt Disney World.
There has been high controversy surrounding the SUV and the dangers involved with driving. The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration reported in 2006 that SUVs have the highest death rates for their own occupants than any other class of vehicles. This is due to the high rates of rollovers.
Numerous factors such as the center of gravity, added weight and roll protections play a huge role in causing rollovers in SUVs. Most commonly, SUV rollovers occur because of the absence of a lower center of gravity and a wider track width which helps vehicles recover easily after skidding and spinning. All SUVs do include warnings.
Due to all the controversy concerning the safety of SUVs, in 2003, 15 domestic and foreign-based automakers agreed that by 2009 all SUVs and light trucks will be built lower to the ground, have an energy-absorbing beam and side air bags.
For information on this subject, please refer to the section on SUV Rollovers, Truck Rollovers, Car Rollovers.