Rollover Accidents

Law, Causes and What CT Motorists Should Know

There are 280,000 rollover accidents yearly. 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 more likely to be involved in this kind of motor vehicle crash.

SUVs are particularly susceptible to rollovers because they have a high center of gravity. Adding to the tendency to roll over, is the typically narrow width between the left and right wheels and raised height of the vehicle to accommodate four-wheel drive. This all combines into reduced stability. This stability is 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, while minivans with raised suspension that carry several passengers are also more likely to roll 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 too high a speed, and the tires hit a curb, slide across uneven pavement surfaces, 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 percent of rollover accidents.

The remaining 5 percent of rollover accidents are un-tripped. Un-tripped rollover accidents are usually caused when a vehicle swerves to avoid a collision at high speed.

Speed, together with alcohol, is a large factor in fatal rollovers. Seventy-five percent of fatal rollover crashes are attributed to 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 as, at the time of the accidents, most drivers were driving under favorable conditions.

Approximately 15 percent 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 often times cause severe head injuries for occupants who are restrained inside the vehicle. Seventy-five percent of occupants who died in rollover collisions are ejected outside the vehicle through broken windows, windshields and doors.

If you, or a loved one, were an occupant of a vehicle involved in a rollover crash, it is advisable that you contact us immediately to obtain legal advice about your rollover accident.

Before you hire a lawyer, speak to an insurance adjuster, or sign any paperwork contact Hastings, Cohan & Walsh, LLP to get our FREE copy of our book The Crash Course on Personal Injury Claims in Connecticut. Don't delay, order it today! Call our experienced team of Connecticut Personal Injury Attorneys for a free consultation at 888-244-5480!