As I look back at the clients we have represented this year and the types of cases we have pursued on their behalf, a startling statisic emerges. We pursued more rollover accident cases against automobile manufacturers than any other type of auto defect case. It was also clear that our auto defect cases that involved the rollover of a passenger vehicle, the injuries sustained were significantly greater than the vast majority of other auto accident cases we handled.
In order to see if our experience was an aberration, I visited the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) website, www.nhtsa.gov, to check their statistics. What I found indicates that our experience with auto defect cases reflects what is going on not only in California but across the nation. In rollover accidents, occupants of passenger cars, SUVs, pickups and vans are 11 times more likely to sustain fatal injuries than the average for motor vehicle accidents. Of the nearly 11 million passenger car, SUV, pickup and van accidents in 2002, only 3% involved a vehicle rollover. However, rollover accidents accounted for nearly 33% of all deaths from passenger vehicle accidents. In the U.S., more than 10,000 people died in rollover accidents in 2002 alone.
The statistics indicated that of these 10,000 deaths, 72% were not wearing safety belts.
Please drive carefully and always wear your seat belt. For information on avoiding a rollover automobile accident, please see www.nhtsa.gov.