Rollover accidents cause 10,000 fatalities a year according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). This is especially alarming because only 2.5 percent of all car accidents are rollover accidents. These are the most deadly type of car or truck accident besides head-on collisions. More than half of all single car accident deaths occur in a rollover accident.
How do rollover accidents occur?
Here are some common causes of rollover accidents:
- Car or truck hits something that makes it rollover. Typically items that cause a rollover are the median, a ditch, a tree, a guardrail, or the edge of the road where pavement intersects with grass.
- The driver veers to one side of the road and then overcorrects to return to the other direction and loses control of the vehicle causing it to rollover. Sometimes the original veering was caused because the driver fell asleep at the wheel or was otherwise distracted.
- Driving aggressively, recklessly, or at inappropriate speed.
- Type of vehicle being driven can influence whether or not it will rollover. SUVs are known to be top-heavy. According to NHTSA over 60% of fatalities in vehicle rollover accidents were SUV drivers or passengers.
Why are SUVs Prone to Rollover Accidents?
SUVs are higher off the ground than cars, which results in a higher center of gravity, which translates to a lower degree of stability. As a result, an SUV can lose control and rollover if the driver tries to make a sharp turn at high speeds. In addition, SUVs are bigger and heavier than cars, which makes it is harder to come to a full stop.
Why do they result in fatality?
In many cases, people die in a rollover accident because they are not wearing their seatbelt. Oftentimes, they are thrown from the vehicle. To reduce the likelihood of a fatality, you should always wear your seatbelt when traveling in a car.
Additionally, many SUVs do not include safety features that would lower fatality rates. Adding roll bars and sturdier roofs would make rollover crashes more survivable; however, not all auto makers have made these design changes.
If you have been impacted by a rollover car accident, contact DDB Law to find out if you are entitled to compensation to help you recover the cost of medical bills and/or other damages.