There are 280,000 rollover accidents annually. More than 10,000 people a year die in these motor vehicle accidents. A rollover happens when a vehicle flips onto its side or roof. While all vehicles can roll over, Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs), light trucks and minivans are most likely to be involved in this kind of motor vehicle crash.
SUVs are particularly susceptible to rollovers because they have narrower width between the left and right wheels, and a higher ride height to accommodate their four-wheel drive systems. SUVs typically have much a high center of gravity in comparison to normal cars. All of these factors lead to reduced vehicle stability. Lastly, stability can be decreased even further when passengers or heavy cargo are loaded into the SUV.
Light trucks with four-wheel drive have reduced steering capacity to negotiate sharp curves or corners. Minivans with raised suspension that carry several passengers are also have a higher chance of rolling over.
A rollover can be either “tripped” or “un-tripped”. A tripped rollover occurs when a vehicle is sliding sideways, most often because of cornering too sharply while traveling at a high rate of speed. This leads to the tires hitting a curb, and the vehicle sliding across uneven pavement surfaces. The tires then typically dig into soft soil, hit a guardrail, or bump into a snow bank. Another scenario for a rollover is where a vehicle is traveling at a high rate of speed and one side of the vehicle rides up against an object, such as a guardrail. The third kind of rollover is when a vehicle is attempting to drive down a slope so steep, the vehicle cannot remain upright.
Tripped rollovers account for 95% of rollover accidents. The remaining 5% of rollover accidents are un-tripped, which is when a vehicle swerves to avoid a collision at a high rate of speed.
Speed, together with alcohol, are two of the biggest factors in fatal rollovers. 75% of fatal rollover crashes are attributed to vehicles traveling at speeds higher than 55 miles per hour on rural roads on weekend nights. Research indicates driver distraction may be responsible for fatal single vehicle rollover crashes because at the time of the accidents, most drivers were driving under favorable conditions.
Approximately 15% of rollover crashes involved a collision with another vehicle. A side impact collision is most likely to cause a rollover. Unlike front, rear, and side collisions, a rollover crushes the roof which can cause severe head injuries for occupants who are restrained inside the vehicle. 75% of occupants who died in rollover collisions were ejected outside the vehicle through broken windows, windshields and doors.
If you or someone you love was involved in a a rollover accident, it is important that you speak with an experienced rollover accident attorney today, to make sure your rights are protected. Contact our team at 888-244-5480 for a free consultation.