Good news for my wife who wants one and great news for newer SUV owners: SUVs are now least likely to be involved in f
atal rollover accidents. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has determined that electronic stability control in SUVs greatly reduce the tendency of SUVs to flip and roll over. R
ollover accidents are typically more deadly than other wrecks. Electronic stability control is a computer system installed in newer SUVs which helps drivers keep control of the vehicle during sharp maneuvers and slick roads. SUVs made in 2009 and beyond are the safest.
To use an overworked phrase: size does matter. Larger and heavier vehicles usually fare better in impacts due to, well, their large size and weight, but until recently SUVs carried a high rollover risk because of their height. With the stability control, SUVs now have size and stability on their side combining to make a very safe vehicle. They now have the lowest accident death rates - only minivans are safer.
If you've had your eye on a later model SUV as my wife has (and you're not in the market for a minivan!), at least you can be assured that newer SUVs are about as safe as they can be.
Source: WSBTV.com, "SUVs Now Least Likely For Rollover Crashes", Peter Valdes-Dapena, June 9, 2011.