Children's risk triple in SUV rollovers

Jan. 3, 2006 at 8:22 AM
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PHILADELPHIA, Jan. 3 (UPI) -- Children riding in SUVs involved in rollover crashes are three times as likely to be injured, research released Tuesday concludes.

The study by Children's Hospital of Philadelphia using State Farm Insurance Co. data found that total SUV crashes increased to 26 percent in 2004 vs. 1999 while total car crashes fell to 43 percent of State Farm-insured vehicles during the period.

SUVs were twice as likely to roll over as cars, said researcher Dr. Dennis Durbin, a risk that offsets additional safety that generally goes with larger, heavier vehicles.

"People who use an SUV as their family vehicle should know that SUVs do not provide superior protection for child occupants, and that age- and size-appropriate restraints and rear seating for children under 13 years are critically important because of the increased risk of a rollover crash," Durbin said.

The study of car and SUV crashes involving 3,933 children was published Tuesday in the journal Pediatrics.

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