About | HeinOnline Law Journal Library | HeinOnline Law Journal Library | HeinOnline

34 Brief 24 (2004-2005)
Emerging Trends and Perspectives in Rollover Litigation

handle is hein.journals/tbrief34 and id is 26 raw text is: PESPCTVE I-N!
B.  SOE   1-1 5RW  N  LSBEHM  CM
0~' ._, *;__1  ia: LI! P~     ailil I ti [,rI ]P lll @ .  ll ]   [i i

he sports utility vehicle
(SUV)Ii a.s captured the
T.-      modern American imag-
.T     ination. Since the
launch of the Ford Explorer in
1990, SUV sales have steadily
increased and manufacturers have
developed an ever-increasing array
of vehicles to meet consumer
demand. Statistics show th at
a)Proxittlately eighty different
todels of SUV were being offered
in 2003, and that SUVs accounteld
for approximarely 27 percent of
new personal vehicle registrations,
the largest market share of atty pas-
senger vehicle.' Furdertuore, SLJV
buyers appear to be extremely
brand loyal, with an estimated 51
percent choosing another SIN as
their new vehicle, as compared to
an automotive industry average of
41 percetitA

That-popularity has not been
free of controversy. According to
the National H ighway Tntnslr-
tation Safety Authority (NHTSA,
while rollovers account for only 3
percent of all tIotor vel icle acci-
denis, this same 3 percent accounts
for 33 percent of passenger vehicle
fMalities, Tte taminstreami ,udia
has widely reported SUV rollover
incidents. Congress has held hear-
ings on SUV safety attl rottitl-
gatetl legislation increasing
regulation on vehicle manufhctur-
ers. The autootive induistry Ias
tesp lade by lit uldefending SUVs
and striving to develop innovative
safety systems. Last, but, not least,
SUV rollover litigation has prolifer-
ated. This article examines how the
often conflicting issues surrounding
SLJVs have been addressed across
these arenas and attempts to provide

some perspectives about the futire.
With All the negarive media atten-
tion, why does the American public
remain so fascinated with SUVs?
Consumer Perspectives
and Media Response
According to an early 2004 New
Yojrker article by well-known author
Malcolm Gladwell, people ult i-
mately luty SUVs hcause they view
h em as big and heavy, and there-
fore safe.4 According to Gladwell,
people evaluate the safety of a vehi-
cle by assessing how it would fore if
crashed into a brick wall. It is a
defensive rather than offensive strat-
egy, -and SUVs appear to provide a
better defense than smaller vehicles,
Others have different views.
According to Martin Goldfarb, an
anthropologist and consultant who
Specializes in the stu1dy of itttan



i        r  //: ., .1t   ..  • .  • J      'r        ,    .   :.+i
•               j,           .
_ ,.i:+..  ....  -....:  .  .  ,  ; o.                                      .                 .

. .    .  .:  .  •  i.  .  .  .. .               .   .  .   ..                .  . .    ...   •  .  ,  i
....        ...
. .              .              .  .  . .. .  . :.  .  _.    .  ....  •  . :.. . . . . ..  ;.  .  ....  5. 7-..  a
.....      ..         .....                 ___ _     .

• II                                      ,,. i , •       •       •    •

What Is HeinOnline?

HeinOnline is a subscription-based resource containing thousands of academic and legal journals from inception; complete coverage of government documents such as U.S. Statutes at Large, U.S. Code, Federal Register, Code of Federal Regulations, U.S. Reports, and much more. Documents are image-based, fully searchable PDFs with the authority of print combined with the accessibility of a user-friendly and powerful database. For more information, request a quote or trial for your organization below.

Short-term subscription options include 24 hours, 48 hours, or 1 week to HeinOnline.

Contact us for annual subscription options:

Already a HeinOnline Subscriber?

profiles profiles most