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Collisions with Jeeps: How They Stack Up

By Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. on September 1, 2020

When heading into the outdoors, nothing compares to traveling in a jeep. Its design and style bring to mind a scenic road trip into the wilderness and is often the vehicle of choice for enthusiastic hikers and travelers. However, that does not mean they are 100% safe, and its unique design can lead to catastrophic injuries to both occupants and other drivers.

What Makes Jeeps Dangerous?

Like other large vehicles, jeeps are top heavy, meaning the engine and frame are raised higher off the ground than standard passenger vehicles. Because of this, these vehicles are far more likely to rollover in a collision, causing severe injuries to passengers and to other drivers that the vehicle collides with. In some cases, this can also lead to a passenger being ejected from the vehicle, which is a unique risk for jeeps because of their removable windows.

This danger is supported by a recent report from the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS), one of the two major organizations that rate and review vehicle safety. During a front-crash test, the 2020 Jeep Wrangler tipped over on the passenger side. In other testing areas, the vehicle performed well; however, the risk of a rollover decreased its score significantly.

In contrast, the other organizations that test vehicles, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), noted that while the 2020 Jeep Wrangler did not tip over during their tests, it does have a 27.9% chance of being involved in a rollover. Similarly, the SUV model has a 26.7% of rolling over. The NHTSA has not conducted all four of its tests yet, but these numbers present a significant risk.

Recovering After a Jeep Collision

While jeeps are designed for off-road trips, highway and street traffic may present some dangers to other drivers. Beyond the rollover risk, the size and weight of a jeep make a collision especially dangerous for passenger vehicles. Jeep drivers may avoid the brunt of the damage, but passengers are at risk of being ejected from the vehicle or injured in a roof collapse, whereas other drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians can suffer catastrophic injuries in a crash.

Following a collision with a jeep, negligence may be applied to multiple parties during a car accident claim. Among those groups, injured parties can often file claims against:

Jeep drivers: Obviously, if a jeep driver acted negligently, they can lose control and cause a collision with other vehicles and potentially lead to a rollover accident. Anyone injured as a result of the jeep driver’s reckless actions, whether they are a passenger or other driver, can pursue a claim for damages.

Other vehicle drivers: Jeep drivers are not any more negligent that passenger vehicle drivers, and if one collided at high speeds with a jeep, the driver could be found liable for causing a rollover or other injuries to the jeep’s occupants.

Manufacturers: While the 2020 Jeep Wrangler has only had a handful of recalls according to the NHTSA, 1.5 million older models were recalled in 2013 due to defective fuel tanks that could have caused fires. If your injuries were caused by a faulty component or safety feature in a jeep, you may be able to pursue an auto parts product liability claim against the manufacturer.

Auto accident claims are complicated for victims to process and investigate on their own. You have to collect evidence, review insurance policies, determine negligence, and negotiate with insurance adjusters. That is a lot of work to do while you are also recovering and dealing with your injuries.

Instead, let the Seattle car accident lawyers at Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S., review your case in a free consultation. If we take you on as a client, we can handle all of the legal burdens while you focus on healing. We have over 40 years of experience investigating and litigating car accidents, so you can trust that you are in good hands when we deal with insurance companies. Call us at(425) 228-3860 or toll-free at (888) 228-3860 to get started.

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