Low-Speed SUV Flip Reminds Us That The Bigger They Are, The Harder They Fall

Jessica Thompson

Cast your mind a couple of weeks and you might recall seeing the Jeep Wrangler flipping onto its side during an offset-impact crash test conducted by the IIHS.

And that potentially dangerous result came after Stellantis had made changes to the Wrangler’s front chassis structure following its embarrassing fallabout performance in the agency’s 2020 test.

But it looks like the Wrangler isn’t the only SUV that likes to play dead after taking an offset hit to the front. This video submitted to the Bad Drivers of New York YouTube channel shows what appears to be a Lexus SUV flopping onto its side on a Brooklyn street after clipping the back end of a black SUV parked at the side of the road.

Security camera footage captures the Lexus driving at normal speed across an intersection with the lights on his lane on green. The route ahead is clear, but for some reason, perhaps simply through being distracted by a phone or navigation system, the driver strays too far right in his lane and the Lexus glances off the rear corner of the parked SUV.

Related: 2022 Jeep Wrangler 4-Door Tips Over Yet Again In IIHS Crash Test

The impact sends the black SUV into the rear of the car parked ahead if it, but more importantly, and despite the relatively low speed of the impact, manages to tip the Lexus up onto two wheels and from there, onto its driver’s side, where it remains.

A car coming the other way just manages to steer around the stricken Lexus as it flops onto its side in front of him, and right at the end of the clip we see what looks like the driver of that car running down the street to check on the occupants of the Lexus. Unfortunately, we don’t get to see if they’re okay, but given the speed the car was traveling at and the fairly gentle way it rolls over, they’re not likely to be seriously hurt.

Simple physics tells us that taller vehicles are likely to have a higher center of gravity, and the pronounced approach angle clearance of modern SUVs makes it possible for one car to drive up another one. It’s unlikely that a regular car would have suffered the same fate, but then its occupants might have been more seriously hurt if their vehicle stopped dead when hitting the back of the black SUV.

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