Rollover accidents are among the most dangerous motor vehicle accidents, and statistics show that this type of accident has a higher fatality rate than any other type of crash. Serious injury is also a common result of rollover accidents. Although only around 3% of motor vehicle accidents are rollovers, this type of accident accounts for nearly one-third of vehicle accident fatalities. More than 10,000 people each year are killed in rollovers, and more than 70% of these deaths happen to vehicle occupants who are not wearing seatbelts.
Which Vehicles Are Most Prone to Rollovers?
While many people think that by not driving an SUV they are protected from a rollover, the truth is that any type of car, van, truck, or bus can roll over in an accident. The vehicles most likely to be involved in rollovers are those with a higher center of gravity and those that are narrow and tall. While SUVs certainly fit this description, minivans and pickup trucks also have a higher risk of rolling over than a sedan or coupe.
The simple fact is that sport-utility vehicles are among the most dangerous vehicles on the road. Handling is cumbersome and braking is slow – some SUVs need more than 40 extra feet to stop when decelerating from 60 mph. This leads to many more collisions that could have been avoided, and SUVs pose extra dangers in those collisions. Cars crumple in an intended predictable mode of deformation during head-on collisions, which absorbs some of the force and protects the occupants.
SUVs generally have truck frames that magnify the force on the occupants. Incredibly, some car dealers under-inflate the tires because they know most SUV drivers never take the vehicles off road. This can smooth out the rough SUV ride, but it causes significant stability problems and increases the chance of rollover. It also leads to tire delamination. The bottom line is that rollovers in sport-utility vehicles are as much as five times more deadly than accidents in other vehicles.
Other Factors Contributing to Rollovers
- Road conditions
- Driver behavior
Almost three-quarters of fatal rollover crashes happen in areas where the speed limit is 55 miles per hour or higher. Speeding is involved in 40% of rollover deaths. When roads are poorly maintained, rollovers are more likely, and 70% of rollover fatalities happen in rural areas with higher speed limits.
Types of Rollovers
Tripped rollovers happen when a car leaves the road and rolls over after being tripped by a curb, loose pavement, or a steep slope. Most single-vehicle rollovers are tripped rollovers. Un-tripped rollovers happen due to driving maneuvers, and occur without the car hitting another object. Un-tripped rollovers are more common in top-heavy vehicles that are speeding, but are rarer than tripped rollovers.
Contact Kelley | Uustal for a Free Case Consultation
The car accident attorneys at Kelley | Uustal understand personal injury law and rollover accidents and have the experience and resources to help you protect your rights when you are involved in a rollover accident. We are not afraid to go up against insurance companies, the government, or large corporations and we will use every resource we have to try to help you see that justice is served and that you are compensated fairly for your injuries.