How Are Rollover Accidents Different From Other Accidents?

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Rollover car accidents can be particularly hazardous. In a rollover accident, the vehicle in question literally rolls over itself, often ending up with its wheels in the air and the driver and passengers having sustained significant injuries. In fact, according to SaferCar.gov, nearly one-third of rollovers result in fatalities; that’s a higher fatality rate than any other kind of accident. However, it may be possible to guard against a rollover to some degree.

Loss of control is a significant factor in rollovers.

There are many reasons a driver may lose control of their vehicle, including distraction, inclement weather, another driver’s interference, or other external stimuli. Additionally, drivers who are prone to taking chances are more likely to suffer from or cause a rollover than other drivers. Failing to slow down sufficiently before a turn is a common error that results in rollovers.

Some vehicles are more likely than others to suffer a rollover.

Rollovers most often occur to tall and/or narrow vehicles. A vehicle with a higher center of gravity, such as an SUV, pick-up truck, or van, is more likely to roll over even in single-vehicle accidents.

Location can affect the potential for a rollover.

It is more common for rollovers to occur on rural roads where fewer cars are present and barriers tend to be lacking. It can be tempting to drive faster than one usually would on rural roads, due to the sense of freedom and openness many of these roads elicit. However, sharp turns and obstacles can come seemingly out of nowhere, leaving little time to react. A car that turns too sharply or has its center of gravity otherwise affected is at severe risk for a dangerous rollover.

There are ways to mitigate the risk of a rollover.

All drivers, and especially those that drive vehicles with a high center of gravity, should be aware of the steps they can take while driving to prevent the possibility of a rollover. Helpful tips to keep in mind regarding rollovers include the following:

  • Be aware of your vehicle. Does your vehicle feel like it’s tilting when you take a turn too fast? This could mean your vehicle has a high center of gravity and is more at risk for rollovers. Slow down on your turns and be aware of obstacles that could unbalance your vehicle.
  • Abide by speed limits. It’s all too easy to find oneself zipping down an empty road with no one around, paying little attention to posted speed limits. However, driving too fast and violating speed limits can result in significantly reduced reaction times. If a driver is speeding and they come across a sudden sharp turn or other obstacle in the road, their only choice may be to turn or veer sharply; this is a recipe for a rollover.
  • Don’t drink and drive. According to SaferCar.gov, nearly half of all fatal rollovers involve alcohol. If you are planning to drink, organize a safe way to return home; whether this is a designated driver, rideshare service, or other method. If you weren’t planning to drink but you find yourself drinking, wait until you are safe to drive or order a car to pick you up. There is never any reason to put yourself and others at risk of the consequences of drinking and driving.
  • Adjust your driving according to your location. Pay attention to the geography of the area where you are driving. Are there a lot of sharp or blind turns? Curvy roads? Hills? If these or other risk-factors exist in the area you are driving through, consider slowing down more than you usually would to make sure you don’t rollover on a turn.

If you or a loved one were injured in a rollover accident, reach out to an accident attorney to discuss your eligibility for compensation. An attorney can help identify what went wrong and can guide you on your way to physical and financial recovery.