Common Causes for Rollover Car Crashes

Gabriel Levin | March 16, 2018 | Auto Accidents
Common Causes for Rollover Car Crashes

Car Crash Lawyer PA Philadelphia rollover car crashes are exactly as horrific as they sound—your car actually rolls over, and it’s not difficult to imagine the terror of that experience. Because of the dangers involved in rollovers, it’s important to understand their common causes and how you can best protect yourself from becoming involved in one.

Rollovers: The Stats

The National Highway and Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA) reports these startling facts about rollovers:

  • Rollovers are responsible for more than 10,000 fatalities every year
  • Rollover crashes cause about one-third of all traffic fatalities in the United States
  • Taller and narrower vehicles with higher centers of gravity—like minivans, pickups, and some SUVs—are most likely to roll over in single-vehicle rollover accidents
  • If you wear your seatbelt in a rollover accident, you are 75 percent less likely to die
  • You reduce your risk of a rollover crash when you obey the posted speed limit and don’t drive under the influence of alcohol

These facts serve to highlight the dangers of rollover car crashes.

If a rollover accident caused by someone else’s negligence injured you, you need an experienced Philadelphia car accident attorney. The skilled legal team at The Levin Firm has the experience and dedication to fight for your rights and for your just compensation.

Driver Beware

The NHTSA finds that many rollovers result from a driver’s panicked response to an emergency on the road. While it’s easy to say don’t panic, it’s much more difficult to stay calm when you’re in the middle of a driving emergency. In fact, something as seemingly minor as allowing your wheels to slip off the road’s pavement can lead to a rollover.

When you travel at highway speeds—or faster—overcorrecting a driving error or overcompensating when steering can lead to the loss of control of your car, which in turn can cause a rollover accident. Driving is an immense responsibility—always concentrate on the exceedingly important task at hand, and proceed with as much calm caution as possible.

Rollover Crashes: The Common Causes

The NHTSA finds that rollover crashes—more so than other car accidents—reflect the interplay between the drivers and the vehicles involved, the road, and the environment. As such, the NHTSA determined that the following factors are most closely associated with causing rollovers:

  • High speeds. Fatalities that result from high-speed rollover accidents are related to more fatalities than high–speed non-rollover accidents. In fact, about 40 percent of all fatal rollover crashes involve excessive speeds. Furthermore, almost 75 percent of all fatal rollovers occur where speed limits are 55 miles per hour or more.
  • Impairment. Almost half of all rollover fatalities involve alcohol. Even a small amount of alcohol can impair your good judgment, your coordination, and your vision—all of which are critical to safe driving. Driving under the influence of alcohol (even if your blood alcohol concentration falls below the legal limit) makes you less able to safely control your vehicle.
  • Rural roadways. Although it’s a bit counterintuitive, rural roadways are the most likely scene of fatal rollover accidents. These often undivided roads lack the barriers found on more trafficked highways and interstates. In fact, almost 75 percent of all fatal rollovers take place on rural roads with a posted speed limit of at least 55 miles per hour.
  • Driver behavior. Most single-vehicle rollover fatalities involve drivers who’re engaged in routine driving practices, including driving straight ahead or taking curves. This supports the theory that drivers’ behaviors play outsized roles in rollover accidents. These behaviors can include driver distraction, speeding, and impairment—among others.
  • Bad tires. Improperly and/or inadequately inflated tires and worn tires can significantly contribute to rollover accidents because they can reduce your ability to control your vehicle—the most determinative factor when it comes to decreasing your odds of a rollover. Worn tires don’t connect with the road properly and your car can begin to slide sideways on a wet or otherwise slippery road. This sliding motion can contribute to a rollover accident. Poorly inflated tires can wear more quickly, grow hotter (there’s less air in them to dissipate the heat), and can lead to tire failure—producing the panicked driving that’s closely associated with rollover accidents.

Tripped and Un-Tripped Rollover Accidents

The NHTSA classifies rollovers as either tripped or un-tripped accidents. In fact, tripped rollovers constitute about 95 percent of all rollover crashes that involve just one vehicle. This means that an obstacle somehow tripped the car’s tires. Such obstacles can include the edge of the road, a steep slope, a curb, a large stone or debris on the road, or a guardrail. Furthermore, a car’s tires can sink down into the soft soil beside the road, which can suck the car into a tripped rollover.

Conversely, un-tripped rollovers are much less common, and they usually take place when a top-heavy vehicle such as a van or large pickup engages in over-correction maneuvers to avoid an accident (often—but not necessarily—at high speeds).

Multi-Vehicle Rollover Accidents

Rollovers are usually single-vehicle accidents, but multi-vehicle accidents can also lead to rollover crashes. Typically, speed, driver impairment, and slippery road conditions play a role in such accidents.

If You Were Injured in a Rollover Car Crash, Consult an Experienced Philadelphia Car Accident Attorney

If you were injured in a rollover accident, you need skilled legal counsel. The dedicated legal team at The Levin Firm in Philadelphia is committed to aggressively advocating for your rights and for your just compensation. Our experienced car accident lawyers have the skill, commitment, and drive to navigate your claim toward its most positive resolution. We’re here to help, so please contact or call us at (215) 825-5183 today.