Exploring the Dangers of Rollover Accidents

What vehicles are most likely to roll over in a crash?

A 17-year-old boy was recently killed in a rollover accident in New Mexico.  The teen was driving a sport-utility vehicle at a high rate of speed in Pecos.  Police report that the driver lost control of the vehicle and it rolled over, killing him instantly and injuring a passenger. Investigations into the cause of the accident are ongoing, but the crash serves as a harsh reminder of the dangers of rollover accidents in New Mexico.  

Rollover accidents comprise just 2.1 percent of all accidents, but rollover crashes are reported to cause up to 35 percent of all car accident deaths, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).  Those who survive a rollover accident are often left with serious injuries. Many rollover crashes are single vehicle accidents, and while driver error could be the cause of these accidents, at times dangerous vehicle designs or defective roadways could be at the root of the crash.

Causes of Rollover Accidents

Tripping is considered the main cause of rollover accidents.  Tripping happens when the tires of a vehicle strike an object, which could be a curb, bump in the road, or soft shoulder, causing the car to tip sideways or forwards into a roll.  The NHTSA estimates that up to 95 percent of single vehicle rollover accidents stem from tripping.

Factors that often contribute to or cause a rollover crash include:

  • A high center of gravity:  Trucks, SUVs, and minivans are most at risk of rollover accidents because they have a higher center of gravity than other vehicles.  
  • Speeding or driver distraction:  Drivers who speed may rapidly lose control of their vehicle, making the vehicle prone to rolling over when going around a sharp curve or after hitting an obstacle.  Distracted drivers could also hit an object in the road or another vehicle, causing the car to flip.
  • Tire failure:  Faulty or defective tires can suddenly fail, causing the driver to lose control of the vehicle.  Some defective tires can cause the vehicle to trip as they burst.
  • Dangerous roadways:  Uneven pavement, a lack of warning signs for sharp turns, and poor road maintenance can lead to serious rollover accidents when passing vehicles trip.

Anyone injured in a rollover crash should consult with a personal injury attorney.  Your attorney will review the facts of the crash to determine whether you have a viable personal injury case.

Posted in: Automobile Accidents, Personal Injury