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Is it possible to prevent a rollover accident?

VolvoSUVCoupleRainI recently received the following email: “A friend of mine told me her young cousin was in a rollover accident. The state trooper told him it was a good thing he drove a Volvo or he probably would have died!” Elizabeth, who emailed me, asked if it was possible to prevent a rollover accident.

Yes, there are a number of ways:

1. Look at vehicle safety ratings— equipment or design features used to prevent accidents from happening in the first place. This includes features like ABS brakes and vehicle handling design. Since SUVs, light trucks, and vans have high centers of gravity, these vehicles are “top-heavy.” As a result, SUVs, light trucks, and vans are more likely to roll over than other passenger vehicles. Keep in mind, vehicle crashworthiness is not the same as vehicle safety.

2. Don’t make extremely sharp turns where you can lose control. During a skidding accident, usually in the winter or on wet roads, our natural inclination is to turn away from the skid by making a sharp turn in the opposite direction. That is more likely to cause a rollover than turning into the skid. Also, beware of making sharp turns by lowering your speed on exit ramps.

3. The obvious answer is to keep your speed as close to the posted speed limit as possible. Those limits were designed for safety— to protect you.

4. Sometimes rollovers cannot be prevented. Wear your seatbelt. If you don’t, you’re likely to be thrown from the vehicle and will not survive.

5. Adjust your route to choose smooth, paved roads whenever possible.

6. Avoid loading too much gear onto a roof rack, as this can make the vehicle top-heavy.

7. Drive defensively. Leaving ample space between vehicles and watching out for other drivers can prevent you from making the kind of panic maneuvers that cause rollovers.

Volvo has been paving the way for vehicle safety since its production began in 1927 and now has the slogan “Safety first. Always.”  Safety features including a hard-top roof, stability system and rigid framework, make it superior in the case of a rollover. Volvo’s electronic stability control is also a key factor in preventing rollovers.

To reward 2013 Volvo models with superior crash protection, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is awarding the new Top Safety Pick+ accolade to vehicles earning good or acceptable ratings in the new IIHS small overlap test as well as top marks in other IIHS evaluations, including moderate overlap frontal crashes, side crashes, rollovers and rear crashes. The Volvo XC60/90 SUV joined the S60 in receiving this prestigious safety award.

If you are interested in purchasing a Volvo and cannot afford a new one, please consider buying a pre-owned vehicle from Jaffarian Volvo. Whether you buy or lease a new or pre-owned Volvo, we’ll be here to help you find just the right vehicle for you and your budget. After all, we are the winner of the Massachusetts Volvo Dealer of the Year for 2012 and 2013 and we’re the only ones to offer The Jaffarian High Five Plan – our warranty program which can help you save money.

Ask Gary Jaffarian

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