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Ensuring your safety in an SUV

SUVs have become increasingly safe passenger vehicles within the past several years. In particular, they have become less susceptible to rollovers. However, it is critical for all SUV owners to ensure that their vehicles have certain safety features designed to help prevent this very crash-type. Failure to make sure that your model has up to date safety features could lead to severe injuries in the event of an accident. This is especially critical given that rollovers tend to be fatal more frequently than other kinds of crashes.

First, your SUV should be outfitted with an electronic stability system. These systems function to stop a rollover before it begins. All 2012 and 2013 SUV models are outfitted with these systems due to government mandate. However, older models may not contain these systems. It is critical that you drive a model that is outfitted with an electronic stability system if you choose to operate an SUV. Otherwise many of the conditions that can inspire an SUV rollover will not be automatically corrected for.

Second, you should avoid tire upgrades and wheel upgrades that are based on style rather than performance. Especially in an SUV, switching out critical functioning parts without considering the impact upon the vehicle's safety as a whole is a "don't." Wheels and tires that are heavier or larger than the ones installed by the manufacturer can affect the braking and stability systems. Both of these consequences ultimately leads to a greater risk of rollover.

SUVs can be great vehicles for families and for individuals who simply prefer them to smaller passenger cars. But failure to ensure that SUVs are equipped with the latest anti-rollover technology can cost owners dearly.

Source: Cars.com, "SUVs, Crossovers and Safety," Joe Wiesenfelder

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