Any car accident can result in serious injuries or death, but rollover accidents are one of the most dangerous types of crashes. Although they account for less than five percent of all car crashes, they are responsible for approximately 30 percent of all car accident deaths. Many people think that it is usually only SUVs and vans which are susceptible to rollovers, the truth is that any vehicle under the right circumstances can roll over.
Why Do Vehicles Roll Over?
The reason why rollovers happen more often with SUVs and vans is that they have a higher center of gravity than other passenger vehicles do. Rollovers usually happen when a vehicle is turning because of the way sideways forces shift that center of gravity to one side, similar to a pendulum. The faster the speed of the vehicle, the stronger the forces and if those forces become too strong, they flip the car over.
- Speed: Approximately 40 percent of rollover crashes involve excessive speeding.
- Alcohol: Approximately 50 percent of rollover crashes are alcohol-related.
- Location: Roads that are undivided, lack barriers, and have posted speed limits of 55 m.p.h. or more – typically rural areas – are the most common places where rollovers happen. Approximately 75 percent of all fatal rollover crashes occurred in these areas.
According to a study conducted by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), 90 percent of the vehicles which were involved in rollover crashes were involved in routine driving maneuvers when the crash occurred. The study concluded that this could mean that other factors such as speed, alcohol, and distracted driving play a significant role in why rollover crashes happen.
Avoiding Rollover Crashes
Although rollover crashes can happen anytime and anywhere, there are steps you can take to help decrease your risks. Always drive the speed limit since speeding greatly increases your risk of a rollover.
Make sure your tires are in good shape. Tires which are worn and do not have enough tread do not grip the road like they should and this could cause the vehicle to rollover.
You should also take care not to overload your vehicle, especially pickup trucks since the load will decrease the vehicle’s stability.
Take extra precaution when you are traveling on rural or country roads since this is where the majority of rollover crashes occur. And always wear your seatbelt. Three-fourths of the people killed in rollover crashes were not wearing their seatbelts and were thrown from the vehicle they were in.
Contact a Virginia Injury Attorney
If you have been involved in any type of vehicle accident, contact a Virginia car accident attorney to find out what legal recourse you may have. You may be able to pursue damages for medical bills, loss of income, pain and suffering, emotional anguish, and other losses the injuries have caused you.