Rollover crashes are extremely dangerous and result in more fatalities and injuries than most other types of passenger vehicle crashes, according to The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Information About Rollover Crashes
The NHTSA provides information about rollover crashes, including the following:
Vehicles – taller and narrower vehicles that have higher centers of gravity (e.g., SUV, pickup truck, vans) are more likely to roll over than vehicles with lower centers of gravity
Speed – about 40% of all rollover fatalities involved drivers who were speeding
55 MPH or higher – 75% of fatal rollovers occurred where the speed limit was at least 55 mph
Rural roads – roads in rural areas, usually lacking barriers, were the scene of about 75% of rollover fatalities
Alcohol – almost half of all rollover accident crashes resulting in fatalities involved alcohol
Routine driving maneuvers – interestingly, more than 90% of fatal rollovers in single vehicle accidents involved normal driving (driving down a straight road, making a turn, etc.)
Single vehicle crashes – about 85% of rollover fatalities involved single-vehicle accidents
What Are the Two Types of Rollovers?
- TRIPPED ROLLOVERS – accounts for 95% of single-vehicle rollovers and occurs when the vehicle slides off the roadway sideways into soft soil or into an object (e.g., guardrail, curb, debris). “High tripping force” to the tires causes the rollover.
- UN-TRIPPED – only about 5% of rollovers are un-tripped. Often caused by vehicles with high center of gravity (top heavy). Primarily caused when vehicle is traveling at high speeds and when avoiding collisions.
Contributing Factors of Vehicle Rollover Accidents
Rollover accidents are often the result of numerous factors, including:
- Driver distraction - not paying attention to driving
- Speeding, following too closely, passing carelessly or at an unsafe speed
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Not making adjustments to road and weather conditions – e.g., not slowing down during rainstorm
- Unskilled driver who does not react as necessary to avoid accident
- Defective vehicle - some rollover cases are a result of defective vehicles; car manufacturers and others may potentially be held accountable for their negligence
Rollover accidents in trucks – in order of most to least accidents:
- Utility trucks/light trucks
- Pickup trucks
- Other light trucks
According to the NHTSA, only 2.1% of the more than 9 million crashes (passenger cars, vans, SUV’s and pickup trucks) involved a rollover. However, this resulted in approximately 35% of passenger vehicle deaths. One reason why there were so many deaths – 7,600 in a recent year – was because 69% of the deceased were not wearing seat belts.
Rollover Crash Victims
Drivers and their passengers are the most frequent victims of rollover accidents. Drivers have a duty to drive responsibly and are liable for their conduct.
Other victims may include:
- Drivers and passengers in other vehicles – often struck by the out-of-control rollover vehicle.
- Drivers and passengers who are struck by other vehicles as they attempt to avoid crashing into the rollover vehicle
- Pedestrians, joggers, bicyclists – a rollover vehicle crash may seriously injure or take the life of anyone in its path
Injuries Caused by Rollover Crashes
Unfortunately, a rollover crash often causes extensive injuries. Common injuries include:
- Traumatic brain injury – harm to skull and head often results in permanent brain damage
- Permanent or long term disfigurement – facial and bodily disfigurement
- Spine and back injuries – impact causes severe damage and may result in partial or full paralysis
- Neck injuries – ranging from whiplash to permanent neck injuries
- Fractures – multiple fractures of the extremities are common
- Emotional and psychological trauma – resulting from crash and injuries
You can reach Personal Injury Lawyer J.P. Gonzalez-Sirgo by dialing his direct number at (786) 272-5841, calling the main office at (305) 461-1095, or Toll Free at 1 (866) 71-CLAIM or email J.P. directly at [email protected].