Grand Cherokee rollover caught on video

KNBC channel 4 in Los Angeles just showed video of a red Grand Cherokee rolling over.

A news crew was reporting on the rain (yes, in Southern California they actually send crews out to show pictures of rain) near the town of Alpine. There was some snow on the ground, but it was not a “covering”. The Grand Cherokee seemed to be travelling a bit fast for the conditions, but there was only a glimpse of another vehicle for comparison. He was kicking up a bit of a “rooster tail”. He suddenly entered a clockwise skid, slid off of the road, and rolled about four times. No one was injured. There was a small pickup truck by the side of the road, and it’s possible the Jeep driver panicked and braked too heavily. Or he could have just been driving too fast for a rainy/snowy/icy(?) road. My personal guess is that he was distracted by the news crew (I cannot understand why people insist on becoming distracted by things that are not a factor) and lost control when he made an accidental input to the controls while he was travelling too fast for the conditions. Just a guess though.

The report also mentioned the government’s new rollover ratings. The worst was the Infiniti QX4, followed by the Jeep Grand Cherokee in the #2 position.

There have been arguments on these boards about the safety of SUVs, particularly about their rollover potential. First rollover: Given the video I saw, any car that slid off of the road at that speed would have rolled over. It just happened to be a Jeep. (FWIW, I see more non-SUVs on their backs in the L.A. area than SUVs.) Second, safety: No one in the Jeep was injured.

It has been a “pet peeve” of mine that people are generally not trained well enough to drive. People seem unaware of physics and seem not to understand that they are not sitting in their living room. Driving, especially in unfamiliar conditions, requires a driver’s undivided attention. Do I munch on the occasional burger whilst I drive? Yes. Do I talk on the cell phone? Rarely (there’s no one I really need to talk to that urgently); but yes, I do. Have I been distracted by reading a map? Of course. But I realize that my attention is diverted and I am especially vigilant at those times. In a car of in an aircraft, I have stopped conversation mid-sentence when the vehicle needed immediate attention. The phone, the burger, the Coke®… whatever, is going to wind up on the floor before I will stop controlling my vehicle. But driving 100 miles a day, I see many many people who seem oblivious to the fact that they are in a situation that the human body was not designed for: Going 50 or 60 miles per hour. It’s pretty safe. We do it all the time. But a sudden stop at that speed can be fatal.

So this is mundane and pointless, and somewhat pedantic. But I’d like people to think about what they are doing when they are in a vehicle. And pay attention. With weather that is unfamiliar to many or most Southern Californians, it pays to be vigilant.

Yep. Jeeps aren’t any less (or more) likely to roll than other vehichles, but they’re safer when they do. I’ve seen Grand Wagoneers that rolled on the highway at 45 mph…everybody walked away with no injuries, and drove the Jeep home. The front edge of the roof was pushed down about 3 inches and broke the windshield, but that was all. :slight_smile:

This page has the story and the video.

Oh, you have got that so right. Things that I have seen people doing in their cars:

>A lady removing her hair rollers.
>Someone paying more attention to the laptop in the passenger seat than the road.
>Some guy, I don’t know what the hell he was doing but I could see both of his hands, and neither of them were on the steering wheel.

The exact same thing happened to an acquintance of mine while driving in excess of 130km/hr in a new VW Beetle. Similar cause for rollover - driver error. She was driving at excessive speeds on a wet and slippery highway in near icy conditions. She crested a hill, saw a police car parked on the side of the road to trap speeders, hit the breaks too hard, drifted into the gravel and lost control. The cop witnessed the event and counted 6 rolls before the car came to a stop on it’s roof in a ditch. Short of a few bruises, the driver walked away. The car was pretty damaged but the frame and cage remained intact. What saved her was the fact that she wore her seat belt.

Truth is, SUV’s do have a higher center of gravity and thus are more prone to tipping and rolling due to sudden evasive maneuvers or loss of control at high speeds. Don’t want to believe me, look it up on

Having said that, seat belts go a long way in saving occupant’s lives. I don’t know that there is a significant difference in injuries and deaths caused by roll overs when SUV’s are compared to sedans or coupes when occupants are found to be wearing their seat belts correctly. Also, the newer cars and SUV’s are structurally stronger and are able to protect their occupants better in roll overs. The real disparity occures when a very large SUV hits a far smaller and lower built compact car.

Drivers always need to adjust their speed in accordance with the road & weather conditions. It’s the ones with the “I can handle anything” attidue who cause problems. GF & I drove out to Illinois to spend Christmas with my relatives. We were on the PA Turnpike when we encountered some light snow and a fraction of an inch on the pike. We were getting used to seeing the occasional vehicle which had pulled onto the shoulder for one reason or another, until we saw a little red sports car that was facing the wrong direction. Judging from the banged up rear end, the driver must have been going too fast for the conditions, lost control, spun around, and hit the cliff face. Hope whoever it was learned a lesson that day.

What are you talking about? I CAN handle anything. For example, I’ll adjust my speed in accordance with the road and weather conditions. :smiley:

It’s the ones who think “I don’t need to change the way I drive for nuthin, cause I drive so much better than every other danged fool out here” that cause trouble.

Adam, those are bad, but I can do you one better. Driving to LA from San Fran, we passed a guy who, while driving, was reading a book. I mean, give the guy credit for being literate, but still…

Watching that video, it looks to me like the Cherokee hit a puddle of water and started aquaplaning. The driver must have hit the brakes or must have steered to abruptly, causing the car to spin and start rolling upon entering the dirt.

I’m sure, with the weight of a Cherokee, that he would have been fine had he just eased up on the accelerator (assuming it’s an auto), or engaging the clutch (assuming it’s a manual) to let the car regain grip.