Rollover crashes are a particularly deadly type of accident. It is not one you would want to find yourself in. You can probably guess that the list of the 15 cars with the highest chances of tipping over is comprised of trucks and SUVs. These vehicles are large and unstable, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t still popular cars! SUVs and trucks are the most purchased type of cars in America.
Some of these SUVs or trucks, you probably already know have a high risk of rolling over, like a Jeep Wrangler. But did you know that some seemingly sturdy looking SUVs like the Cadillac Escalade have some pretty not-so-good rollover ratings too?
So who determines how safe these cars are and how likely they are to roll over? That would be the NHTSA.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is an agency of the Executive Branch of the U.S. government. It is a section of the Department of Transportation and it works to determine the safety and quality of vehicles to “save lives, prevent injuries, and reduce vehicle-related crashes.”
The high clearance of SUVs and trucks makes these vehicles inevitably more likely to tip over if they hit an obstruction in the road or they swerve out of the way.
The NHTSA bases its ratings primarily on something called the Static Stability Factor. This is calculated by comparing a vehicle’s width to its center of gravity.
Here are 15 of the most likely cars to tip over.
15. Buick Rendezvous
The Buick Rendezvous was introduced to the automobile market in 2001 and combines the features of a luxury sedan, minivan, and SUV.
However, the car has continuously received one of the lowest safety ratings, three out of five stars by the NHTSA. In 2007, GM discontinued the production of the car after Forbes declared that the Rendezvous was the number one most dangerous car.
14. Dodge Ram 1500
The Dodge Ram 1500 received “marginal” rollover ratings. The truck has a long history of unimpressive safety ratings.
The truck received failing marks from the government in the past in frontal offset tests and was rated “poor” in protecting heads and left legs as well as restraining the crash test dummy.
13. Ford Explorer SportTrac
As the only Ford-made car on this list, the Ford Explorer SportTrac has one of the worst rollover ratings. The car earned a dismal two safety stars, meaning it is likely to roll over in 30 to 40 percent of single-vehicle accidents.
The SportTrac, which is basically an Explorer with a pickup bed, apparently went up on two wheels during the safety testing where vehicles are driven through a series of sharp turns.
12. Mazda CX-9
The Mazda CX-9 has the lowest strength-to-weight ratio of all midsize SUVs on the market. Their rollover rates aren’t too hot either.
All in all, the Mazda CX-9 doesn’t provide a very safe ride and your chance of tipping over is marginal.
The car has been categorized as one of the most dangerous cars to drive, but the one thing that would make this car extremely unsafe: the driver. A reckless driver in one of these babies is just a call for disaster.
11. Nissan Pathfinder
The Nissan Pathfinder has relatively poor safety ratings. In government rollover tests, the Nissan Pathfinder showed a 20 to 30 percent risk of rolling over.
The lackluster rollover protection is not a hot selling point for the Pathfinder. The vehicle also did not perform well in tests gauging the likelihood of serious injury and the amount of structural protection that the vehicle could provide in the event of a rollover.
10. Chevrolet Colorado
The 2016 Chevrolet Colorado landed three out of five stars in NHTSA rollover testing. In rear-wheel drive models, the mid-size pickups had a 22% chance of rolling over.
In four-wheel configurations, the Colorado ended up with four-star crash ratings overall and a 21.4% rollover rating.
9. Cadillac Escalade
The Cadillac Escalade SUV 2017 model showed a 22.9% chance of rolling over in rear-wheel drive. This likelihood places the Escalade among the 10 worst trucks and SUVs on the market.
However, the SUV has five-star side-impact ratings and equally impressive overall crash ratings.
The newer versions of the Escalade come with a new airbag placed between the front seats, designed to protect passengers’ heads from colliding in an accident. Other safety features include automatic braking and intrusion sensors.
8. Chevrolet Tahoe RWD
The Chevy Tahoe has a 22.9% chance of rollover in NHTSA testing. The Tahoe actually had an excellent safety rating of five stars in both side and front crash tests. However, the SUV only received three stars in rollover protection, which dragged the Chevrolet Tahoe’s overall rating down to four out of five stars.
Standard StabiliTrak electronic stability control system was installed to reduce the risk of rollover crashes by keeping the vehicle in the driver’s intended path by applying throttle, braking or a combination of both.
7. GMC Yukon
The large GM vehicle was rated one among those with the highest risk of tipping over on the road. The 2016 Yukon had a 22.9% chance of rolling over. Rear-wheel drive Yukons performed better on side and frontal crash tests, but with little safety stability, it ranked among the market’s worst.
However, the Yukon does have among the highest crash-test ratings. The SUV was fully redesigned in 2015, although it didn’t seem to help the rollover rate, with “no tip” in the dynamic test for either generation of the Tahoe.
6. Jeep Renegade
While the Jeep Renegade is not likely to tip over while swerving or steering out of the way of danger, the SUV has one of the highest chances of tipping over if you run over an obstruction in the road, drive into a ditch or barrier, or have a secondary collision.
The Jeep’s four-wheel drive model had some of the poorest scores in rollover crashtests. The Renegade scored a 23% rollover risk in NHTSA tests.
The Jeep Renegade is in its second model year and this is the first time it has been given a full set of U.S. crash-test ratings. The 2016 model comes with “advanced” IHS rating for front crash prevention when it’s equipped with the full-speed warning system.
5. Ford F-250
NHTSA tests revealed rollover issues with the F-250 in Super Crew 4×4 trims for the 2016 model. The truck had a 23.7% rollover risk.
Frontal crash tests were not great for the F-250 truck either. It scored lower than most of its competition and only received three safety rating stars.
Ford rolled out its first F-series trucks in 1948, but the current “Super Duty” line didn’t begin until 1999. The current F-250 has proven itself to be a successful cross between a work-ready truck and a comfortable driving vehicle.
4. Ram 2500
The NHSTA tests on the Ram 2500 four-wheel pickup truck for the 2017 model revealed a 23.7% risk for rollover. The truck scored only three stars in the safety test.
The 2016 Ram 2500 has had some recalls since its release. Nevertheless the Ram brand seems to still be going strong. Ram debut as a stand-alone truck brand in 2009. The company now holds a 21.7% share of the market as of July 2016.
The Ram 2500 and 3500 together account for 30% of all Ram pickup sales. Hauling is a primary job for the Ram 2500, and this truck has the potential to pull up to nearly 9 tons (17,980 lbs.), according to the truck maker.
3. Toyota 4Runner
Toyota 4Runner had the worst rollover ratings as far as large SUVs go. The 2017 model has a 24.6% risk of tipping over in both all-wheel drive and rear-wheel drive models.
The Toyota 4Runner was created with an off-road purpose, so it is probably pretty important to know what the rollover statistics are for this vehicle before you go off-roading.
The exterior of the Toyota 4Runner is bold and bulky, it looks like it could withstand anything. There is a setting for just about any kind of terrain out there, meaning you can pretty much drive it anywhere, but that doesn’t mean you don’t have a chance of tipping over.
2. Jeep Wrangler Unlimited 4WD
You probably guessed that the Jeep Wrangler would be on this list. Known for off-roading and driving on all sorts of terrain, the Wrangler has the second-highest rating for tipping over. The Jeep has a rollover risk of 27.9% according to the NHSTA tests.
Another con to the Jeep Wrangler is that it is a killer on gas. Expect to be forking over your money to fill up that tank. But the majority of people driving a Jeep Wrangler are looking for a “fun” car to drive, which it is, as long as it’s driven carefully.
1. Nissan NV3500
The 2017 Nissan NV3500 has the worst safety rating of any large vehicle in rollover testing. With just two out of five stars, the Nissan passenger van has a rollover risk of 30.6%.
The passenger van has a bold silver grille in the front. The engine of the car actually is not under the hood, the majority of it is under the dash with a bit inside the cabin.
The van feels more like a typical SUV than your average passenger van. Although, with these safety ratings, we’re not sure you want to be a passenger in this van.