A woman who had a roll-over accident in a sports utility vehicle hopes her story will convince others that S-U-Vs are dangerous. “I want people to know they’re not safe,” says Sue Ferden of Des Moines, who had a wreck in Jasper County eight months ago. Iowa’s Attorney General invited her to the State Fair today (Tuesday) to tell her story. “I was going around a curve that really windy night, December 12, and the deputies tell me I rolled it three times,” Ferden says. “I just know I was going around a curve and I lost control and I think I remember it going airborne the first time and I have a fractured neck, a broken knee, a broken hand and I had two ‘bleeds’ in my head.” She has four young children, and feels lucky to be alive. “I’ll never drive an S-U-V again,” she says. “I had driven that road probably 20 times. I knew the curve, knew the roads. It was a windy night and obviously I didn’t have control.” You may be seeing an animated animal called “Esuvee” in television commercials with a safety message about S-U-Vs. Bill Roach of the Iowa Department of Justice says it’s a nationwide campaign. “It’s a campaign aimed at drivers of SUVs really to remind them that SUVs are wonderful vehicles but they do have a tendency to roll over and there are some things that drivers can do to avoid that from happening,” Roach says. The key target audience is young, adult males, according to Roach. Roach says young adult men are the most prone to roll over an S-U-V, but it’s an audience that’s resistant to lectures or scare tactics. Roach says that’s why the campaign has a sense of fun, and talks about “mastering” the vehicle. Roach says for the best driving conditions, always keep your tires properly inflated and check the tire pressure once a month. He also suggests keeping weight off the roof because the center of gravity in an S-U-V is already abnormally high, making the vehicle prone to roll-overs. The Iowa Attorney General’s office brought the animated “Esuvee” creature to the State Fair today (Tuesday). It’s 10-foot tall, covered in fake fur and makes growling noises that attract passing children. To get a look at the creature — as well as S-U-V driving tips — check out www.esuvee.com.
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