Do they flip over easily?
Dear Dreamvoyager-- It doesn't seem that 1995 was that long ago, but it was really the early days as far as the SUV craze is concerned. With the sudden popularity of the SUVs, manufacturers seem to have rushed their models to market without being able to build an affordable model with a solid enough suspension and a low enough center of gravity to make them acceptably safe for drivers and passengers. As a result, the number of rollover accidents increased. Now that doesn't mean that SUVs were rolling past every street corner. But, it does mean than an unacceptable high number of deaths resulted from the mid-to-late 1990s (numbers like 100-175 deaths per million. Refer to a report at this site-- http://www.aceee.org/pubs/t021full.pdf.) Since those earlier days manufacturers have modified suspensions, increased weight-carrying capabilities and added new devices to curtail rolling over. For example, Volvo intoduced a gyroscope based system in 2002 with the introduction of their 2003 XC90. So will your 1995 Blazer roll over? The answer is that it has a better chance of doing so than a 10-year newer model. How does that sound? I thank you for allowing me the time to show you how smart and well read I am. Good luck from Bovan.
The short answer to your question Dreamvoyager is no. It's not easy to roll one. You have to be doing something stupid or lose control of the vehicle and strike something else. Is it easIER to roll one than it is a car? Yes ... Is a Blazer easier to roll than the safest SUVs? Yes, minimally ... Here however is an extensive and well-referenced discussion on the subject I found on a forum thread (and here is the link directly to the page in case this is hard to read in this format ... http://groups.google.com/group/microsoft.public.cert.exam.mcse/msg/51a7429b7b00dc65?&hl=en&q=Blazer+rolling+over+ ) "The 2002 Montero Sport isn't costly to insure because it's expensive to buy. It's because it has the highest number of claims for injury, collision, and theft. Its rollover rating is a dismal two stars out of five from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, meaning there is a 30 to 40 percent chance of rolling over in a one- car accident." *Thirty-six* SUVs rate an overall "poor" for crashworthiness. Poor. That's where somebody dies or ends up in a wheelchair if they're lucky. For example: 2002 Chevrolet Blazer 2-DR 4x4 Sport Utility Vehicle Crashworthiness and injury ratings from IIHS Overall Poor Structure/safety cage Poor Restraints, dummy kinematics Poor Head/neck Poor Chest Good Left leg, foot Good Right leg, foot Acceptable Bumper Poor 2000 Chevy Blazer 4-DR Sport Utility Vehicle Crashworthiness and injury ratings from IIHS Overall Poor Structure/safety cage Poor Restraints, dummy kinematics Poor Head/neck Poor Chest Good Left leg, foot Good Right leg, foot Acceptable Bumper Poor Head-restraint ratings from IIHS Front Acceptable Front Poor 2000 GMC Jimmy 4WD 2-DR Sport Utility Vehicle Crashworthiness and injury ratings from IIHS Overall Poor Structure/safety cage Poor Restraints, dummy kinematics Poor Head/neck Poor Chest Good Left leg, foot Good Right leg, foot Acceptable Bumper Poor Head-restraint ratings from IIHS Front Acceptable Front Poor 2000 Honda Passport 4x4 4-DR Sport Utility Vehicle Crashworthiness and injury ratings from IIHS Overall Poor Structure/safety cage Good Restraints, dummy kinematics Marginal Head/neck Poor Chest Good Left leg, foot Poor Right leg, foot Acceptable Bumper Poor Or: http://www.epinions.com/content_72306626180/show_~allcom "by dedestaud I am a Trauma Nurse and most of the accident victims we get are from SUV's so they are not safer. SUV's have a 6% higher accident rating than cars so maybe you should not drive a large vehicle either." Or: http://www.suvrollovernews.com/ An *entire site* devoted to how dangerous these things are. Hate to burst your bubble there, Mario Andretti, but your amazing skill behind the wheel doesn't mean s**t. "Why do consumers need to know about SUV rollovers? Rollovers do not occur as often as other types of crashes, but when they do occur, they often result in a serious injury or death. SUV rollover accidents accounted for more than 10,000 fatalities in the United States in 1999, which is more than side and rear crashes combined. The result was thousands of serious injuries. Some rollover accidents may be preventable if consumers realize the dangers involved in SUV vehicles and the serious and tragic injuries that can result. "Sport-utility vehicles are more socially acceptable now than they will be in the future. As more people are killed people will wake up and realize what's going on." -Clarence Ditlow of the Center for Auto Safety How do most SUV rollovers occur? Studies of real-world single-vehicle crashes show that more than 90% of rollovers occur after a driver runs off of the road. This is not referring to vehicles trying to negotiate difficult trails away from public roads, rather it refers to vehicles rolling over off of the pavement after the driver has lost control of the vehicle. The pavement, a ditch, soft soil, curb or other tripping mechanism usually initiates the rollover accident once the vehicle slides off. What does the NHTSA'S rollover resistance rating mean? The Rollover Resistance Ratings are based on Static Stability Factor, which is essentially a measure of how top heavy a vehicle is. The Rollover Resistance Ratings of vehicles were compared to 220,000 actual single vehicle crashes, and the ratings were found to relate very closely to the real-world rollover experience of vehicles. Based on these studies, NHTSA found that taller, narrower vehicles, such as sport utility vehicles, are more likely than lower, wider vehicles, such as passenger cars, to trip and roll over once they leave the roadway. Accordingly, NHTSA awards more stars to wider and/or lower vehicles. The Rollover Resistance Rating, however, does not address the causes of the driver losing control and the vehicle leaving the roadway in the first place. Do vehicles with higher rollover resistance ratings mean it is safe from SUV rollovers? Even a five-star vehicle has up to a 10% risk of rolling over in a single vehicle crash. For more general information on SUV Rollovers please visit http://www.suvrollovernews.com Does electronic stability control affect SUV rollovers? Most rollovers occur when a vehicle runs off the road and strikes a curb, soft shoulder, guard rail or other object that "trips" it. The Rollover Resistance Ratings estimate the risk of rollover in event of a single vehicle crash, mostly when the vehicle runs off the road. Electronic Stability Control is designed to assist drivers in maintaining control of their vehicles during extreme steering maneuvers. It senses when a vehicle is starting to spin out (oversteer) or plow out (understeer), and it turns the vehicle to the appropriate heading by automatically applying the brake at one or more wheels. Some systems also automatically slow the vehicle with further brake and throttle intervention. What makes Electronic Stability Control promising is the possibility that with its aid many drivers will avoid running off the road and having a single vehicle crash in the first place. However, ESC cannot keep a vehicle on the road if its speed is simply too great for the available traction and the maneuver the driver is attempting, or if road departure is a result of driver inattention. In these cases, a single vehicle crash will happen, and the rollover resistance rating will apply as it does to all vehicles in the event of a single vehicle crash. --Dangers for SUV Rollover Accidents-- Understanding the risks involved in driving a sport utility vehicle may help prevent unnecessary SUV rollover accidents. A high center of gravity/narrow track width is one of the most important factors in determining a potential SUV rollover. Since SUVs have a higher center of gravity than other vehicles on the road it makes them top heavy. A corrective action puts an SUV in a rollover position. SUVs are supposed to be able to carry a heavy load of people, equipment, etc, over any type of terrain. This fact has made SUVs a family car, rather than for simply off-roading. More weight increases the chances of an SUV rollover accident occurring, despite the belief that added weight will add stability. An SUV without roll protection is what makes an SUV rollover accident so dangerous. Although SUVs were made for the purpose of off-roading manufacturers realized the use of SUVs as a family car and did not include roll bars. While the body of an SUV remained the same as it would if used for off-roading, the removal of the roll bars combined with the high clearance and high center of gravity make rollover accidents that much more fatal." "--1999 SUV ROLLOVER CRASH FACTS-- 10,657 passenger vehicles were involved in fatal rollover crashes. (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or NHTSA) Crashes in which a vehicle rolled over accounted for more than half of all single-vehicle crash deaths. (NHTSA) Vehicle rollover crashes are especially serious because they so often result in head injuries. Head trauma is the most frequent type of fatal and nonfatal injury in rollovers. (NHTSA) The rate of serious injury in passenger vehicle rollover crashes is 36 percent higher than in crashes where there is no rollover. (NHTSA) The high fatality and injury rates are due, in part, to the high percentage of rollover crashes in which passengers are ejected from their vehicles. Ejections account for 63 percent of all fatalities in rollover crashes and often result in costly and debilitating head injuries. (NHTSA) More than 90 percent of passenger vehicle rollover crashes are single-vehicle crashes, and 8,345 of the 10,142 occupant deaths occurred in single-vehicle rollover crashes. (NHTSA) More than half, 56 percent, of single-vehicle crash deaths resulted from rollovers compared with only 11 percent of rollover deaths in all multiple-vehicle crashes. (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, or IIHS)" "-GENERAL SUV ROLLOVER INFORMATION-- Sport utility vehicles have the highest rate of deaths occurring in rollovers. Cars such as the Ford Explorer, Toyota 4 Runner, Isuzu Rodeo, and Honda Passport have been involved in SUV rollovers that have ended up in serious injuries and death. SUV rollovers are almost three times more likely to occur than the average passenger car, and government tests indicate the most stable SUV is still more unstable than the most unstable car. What does this say about the safety of SUVs on the road? Rollovers are among the most dangerous types of vehicle crashes due to the high incidence of occupant ejection and head injuries. For more information contact us. In 2000, statistics showed that 10,108 people died in SUV rollovers. That means 62% of all SUV deaths are the result of SUV rollover. Even more alarming, is the withholding of information to consumers about this information. Considering the SUV has become a popular family car, consumers should be aware of the risk the vehicles are putting their families in. After the results of SUV rollover rates in 2000, pressure from the auto industry led Congress to block the immediate publications of these statistics. SUV popularity created a large increase in sales in the 1990s, and because there was so much consumer demand for these cars, carmakers continued to manufacture SUVs. Because the vehicle has changed from simply being an off-road vehicle to a family car, manufacturers have also removed the roll bar that protects drivers and passengers in a rollover situation. Many SUV rollover accidents occur because of the unusual propensity the large car has to rollover when steered hard in foreseeable accident avoidance maneuvers. Also, the size and height of an SUV may increase the danger for rollovers to occur. SUV defects, like weak roofs and safety restraint system failures, are some of the heightened risks involved in an SUV rollover situation. An internal Ford e-mail, produced as evidence in lawsuits against Ford, and obtained by CBS News, shows company engineers were worried about passing rollover tests back in 1989. Ford's response was that the engineers were "worried" but a single document is meaningless." And from: http://www.suv.org/safety.html "Light trucks crashing into cars accounts for the majority of fatalities in vehicle-to-vehicle collisions 2,000 people would still be alive if their vehicles had been hit by a heavy car instead of an SUV 80 percent of car and SUV owners strongly that automakers should make safety changes to SUVs that would make the roads safer for car occupants ARE SUV'S SAFE? Overall safety on America's roads has increased over the last decade. However, sport utility vehicles (SUVs) threaten to reverse the trend. There is increasing evidence that SUVs are not as safe as they appear. Recent studies show that SUVs pose a significant threat to drivers and passengers of other cars on the road. In addition, there are indications that safety problems threaten passengers and drivers of SUVs themselves. Most drivers want to feel safe on the road, but choosing an SUV for safety may be making the situation worse. Partly, it's an issue of escalation. Like an arms race, as more drivers choose heavier cars, those who choose lighter cars are in more danger. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the government agency studying the safety of SUVs, describes two characteristics of SUVs and other light trucks that have the potential to increase fatalities: rollover propensity and crash compatibility.(1) ROLLOVER AND UNSAFE FEATURES The propensity of sport utility vehicles to roll over is major safety concern. Sport utility vehicles are more than three times more likely to roll over in crash than normal passenger cars. The higher roll- over propensity may also lead to higher fatalities. SUVs are heavier and ride higher than regular cars. The high ride contributes to a propensity of SUVs to roll over in accidents. According to NHTSA, SUVs rollover in 37 percent of fatal crashes, compared to a 15 percent rollover rate for passenger cars. Rollover crashes accounted for 53 percent of all SUV occupant deaths in single vehicle crashes in 1996. Only 19 percent of occupant fatalities in passenger cars occurred in similar crashes. (2) Smaller SUVs - with a wheelbase of less than 100 inches - had a disproportionately high incidence of fatal rollover crashes. Small SUVs were involved in rollover crashes more than four times as often as the average passenger car.(3) The rollover phenomenon is not new. Consumers Union, publisher of Consumer Reports magazine, along with the Center for Auto Safety and the Safety First Coalition, first reported serious rollover concerns with a small SUV model, the Suzuki Samurai, in 1988. In 1997, Consumers Union reported that the Isuzu Trooper, Acura SLX, Suzuki Samurai and Ford Bronco II had "shown a significant tendency to tip." Since 1988, Consumers Union has tried to get the government safety agency, NHTSA, to investigate certain SUV models and issue rollover standards for cars and SUVs. NHTSA began to do so, but abandoned efforts to make a universal rollover standard in 1994 concluding that such a standard would require a redesign of nearly all SUVs, vans and pick-up trucks. NHTSA reasoned that the cost for this redesign would be too high. (4) Technical Services, a forensic engineering firm based in Portland Oregon and Chicago Illinois, has published a short case study of the Ford Bronco II's rollover problems on its website. Technical Services writes: "The Bronco II has a 'handling' problem like many other of the small sport utility vehicles. It does friction rollovers on the highway. A friction rollover occurs when the cornering forces - tire friction forces - generated by the driver's steering input becomes high enough to cause the vehicle to rotate around its longitudinal axis and lift the tires off the ground. Most passenger vehicles cannot rollover in this way, although they can rollover as a result of wheel trip when the sliding wheel is blocked by a curb or some other impediment." (5) In other words, if the driver steers to hard, the SUV can tip over. SUVs do not have to meet the same safety standards as passenger cars. The double standard exists due to arcane federal rules classifying SUVs as light trucks. Less rigid rules mean occupants of SUVs are not protected by the side-impact crash safety standards or strength requirements for bumpers required on standard passenger cars. According to The Truck, Van and 4x4 book, 1998 by Jack Gillis, the "newly adopted roof strength standard does not go far enough to effectively protect occupants in a rollover situation."(6) The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, a research organization for the insurance industry, has conducted crash tests of SUVs. The results have been mixed, at best. In a test designed to show how well vehicles protect the driver and passengers in a crash, midsized SUVs were given a rating of "good", "acceptable", "marginal" or "poor". None of the 13 SUVs tested was rated "good." Five were rated as "acceptable," three as "marginal," and five as "poor." Popular models including the Jeep Grand Cherokee and Nissan Pathfinder earned "marginal" ratings. "Poor" ratings went to models such as the Chevy Blazer, GMC Jimmy and the Isuzu Rodeo. The tests measured how well head restraints and bumpers performed and damage to the vehicle's structure. In addition, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety looked at driver death rates. The largest SUVs had fewer driver deaths than average. However mid-sized and smaller SUVs - like the Nissan Pathfinder, Suzuki Sidekick, and Jeep Wrangler - had driver death rates substantially higher than average. In examining deaths per million passengers, SUVs had nearly the same death rates in accidents as small cars, but substantially more fatalities than mid-sized or large cars.(7) The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has recently examined head restraint designs for cars and SUVs. Proper head restraints can lower the severity of whiplash injuries in an accident. In a May 1999 study, the Institute found only two models of SUVs - the Mitsubishi Montero and certain models of the Chevy Blazer - had head restraints that merited a "good" rating. Most were listed as "marginal" or "poor." (8) Many people buy SUVs to feel safe on the road. What they are not told is that they may be putting their own lives, and the lives of other people on the road, in serious danger by driving these oversized, poorly designed vehicles. CRASH COMPATIBILITY While SUVs pose serious safety problems for their occupants, recent studies are showing that SUVs are greatly increasing the danger on our roads for drivers and passengers in other cars. Federal information shows that although light trucks account for one-third of all registered vehicles, traffic crashes between a light truck and any other vehicle now account for the majority of fatalities in vehicle-to-vehicle collisions. Of the 5,259 fatalities caused when light trucks struck cars in 1996, 81 percent of the fatally injured were occupants of the car.(9) In multiple-vehicle crashes, the occupants of the car are four times more likely to be killed than the occupants of the SUV.(10) In a side-impact collision with an SUV, car occupants are 27 times more likely to die.(11) SUVs simply are not compatible in accidents with smaller-sized cars. It is natural to think that SUVs would cause more damage in accidents, because they tend to be heavier than other cars. However, the danger from SUVs appears to be caused by more than just their weight. Comparisons between vehicles that have similar weights, like the Ford Taurus, a mid-sized sedan, and the Ford Ranger, a pick-up (which provides the platform for the Ford Explorer), have shown disproportionate impacts in accidents. The increased damage results in large part from the design of these vehicles. On average, light trucks and SUVs are designed to ride eight inches higher than a car. SUVs also have a more rigid frame - usually consisting of two steel rails. Most cars only use one rail. These two design factors greatly increase the damage caused in a crash with a passenger car. In March 1999 NHTSA examined the design of many popular SUVs and found that the height and frames of SUVs make them extra lethal to people riding in smaller vehicles. Differences in vehicle weight did not account for the extra risk. NHTSA conducted tests showing what happens when an SUV crashes into a Honda Accord. Several SUVs were crashed into the front driver's-side corner of the Accord. A Ford Explorer caused the most damage to the Accord. While the results might indicate that the Explorer is the safer vehicle, video of the crash test shows that the Explorer nearly rolled over after hitting the Accord, and teetering on two wheels for several moments.(12) This study was very important because it examined how many car occupants killed in accidents with SUVs might have survived had the accidents involved passenger cars weighing the same as SUVs. This is in important finding, because auto manufacturers have maintained that the weight of SUVs make them dangerous to smaller cars, not the design. The NHTSA study concludes that 2,000 people would have survived if their vehicles had been hit by a heavy car instead of a heavy SUV. Two thousand is five percent of the nation's annual traffic fatalities. The study declares that light trucks and SUVs are twice as likely to cause a fatality in the struck car than a passenger car of comparable weight.(13) In response to studies like this, automakers have begun saying they will make changes to make SUVs more compatible with other cars. When Ford Motor Company introduced it's new monster, the Excursion (19 feet long, 6 1/2 feet wide, and weighing in at 8,500 pounds), Ford added a front beam and a rear tow hitch to prevent other vehicles from sliding under the Excursion during an accident. The Excursion will be the largest SUV on the market and could be extremely dangerous in an accident with a smaller vehicle since almost every vehicle on the road is smaller. Ford has not added the safety beam to its other SUVs. The compatibility issue is not confined to crashes. The size and design of SUVs raises other safety issues. For instance, placement of headlights is a serious nuisance and a potential safety problem. On large SUVs, the headlights are mounted higher than on cars. Large SUVs have headlights mounted 36 to 39 inches above the ground - the same height as the side mirror on a small car. The glare from SUVs' headlights can appear to other drivers as bright as high beams. Glare can be 10 to 20 times worse than recommended levels when headlights are at the height of a driver's eyes or side mirror, according to a study by the Society of Automotive Engineers. (14) Automakers traditionally claim that they are simply giving the public what they want with SUVs. But recent survey results show that the public is concerned about SUVs compatibility with other passenger cars. In March 1998, the Independent Insurance Agents of America (IIAA) conducted a poll which found that nearly 80 percent of car and SUV owners feel "very strongly" or "somewhat strongly" that automakers should make safety changes to SUVs and other light trucks that would reduce risk to car occupants. This overwhelming majority points to a growing concern among the public that SUVs and cars have a hard time coexisting on the roads.(15) With today's SUVs growing ever larger, automakers have begun a war of escalation - like a new arms race. In the end, the result of this race may be lower overall highway safety. "
SUVs like Escape, Pilot, Jeeps and Explorers rollover easily if you are on the highway going 60 and someone touches your truck. If someone runs a red light your truck will protect you from the side but if they are going fast chances are your truck will hit the pavement sideways with your head dangling out the side window.
I have never heard of them being more susceptible to rollovers than any other SUV in real-world experience, but Consumer Reports did rate the 1998 model, which is very similar to the 1995 model, as being more prone to roll than other SUV's it was tested against. However, like I said earlier, this is not necessarily the case 12 years later.
And LouB called that the short answer. hate to see a long one
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