Roll Over Crashes
What could be more terrifying than cruising along a highway and suddenly finding yourself topsy-turvy, spinning, the victim of a rollover crash? Sadly, over 40,000 of these incidents occur every year in this country. And although only one in 100 crashes involves rollovers, this type of crash results in one in three deaths on American roads.
What are contributing factors in rollovers?
Many factors have the potential to impact the likelihood of rollover crashes:
- Vehicle type: high profile, narrow vehicles with a high center of gravity like trucks, vans and SUVs;
- Tires: over- or under-inflation or tire damage;
- Cargo: more passengers impact the center of gravity;
- Load displacement: particularly in semi-trucks and tractors;
- Driver reactions: steering and braking maneuvers;
- Road conditions: gravel, confusing signage, and unfamiliar road conditions;
- Environmental factors: slick roads, fog, and other weather conditions;
- Driver impairment: fatigue, alcohol, medications, and drugs;
- Impact: collisions with other vehicles, particularly side-impacts;
What do we know about rollover accidents?
The facts associated with these collisions are enlightening:
- Twenty percent of all fatal collisions are rollovers, and deaths are more likely in these collisions than in any other;
- Of all occupants in fatal rollover incidents, roughly 75 percent were not belted in, and over 60 percent were consequently ejected from the vehicle.
- The majority of rollover deaths involve single vehicle collisions;
- Driving with an elevated blood alcohol level is strongly implicated in fatal rollovers;
- The increase in small truck production has resulted in a corresponding increase in fatal rollovers involving lightweight trucks;
- The majority of rollover accidents involve male drivers under the age of 40;
- Most of these incidents involve speeds of 55 mph or more;
- Crash avoidance maneuvers are not employed in roughly 40 percent of single vehicle rollovers and in nearly 60 percent of multi-vehicle incidents.
How can risks be minimized?
There are a number of things motorists can do to reduce the chances of a rollover:
- Maintain tires properly. Don’t allow the tread to wear down, and avoid blowouts by keeping them at proper inflation levels. Monthly tread and air pressure checks can be a key factor in skirting disaster;
- Avoid driving when tired or impaired;
- Drive appropriately for road conditions, lowering speed as necessary;
What are protective factors in vehicle design?
A number of things, in addition to seatbelt usage, can lead to greater safety in rollover accidents, and vehicle designers are increasingly responding to calls for these enhanced safety features:
- Side airbags;
- Strong roofs;
- Electronic Stability Program: ESP senses lateral forces, inclines, and movements of the wheels, automatically correcting in dangerous situations;
- Anti Lock Brakes: Wheel sensors assist in safer braking patterns.
Who do I call after an accident?
If you or a loved one experiences a serious accident of any kind, the experienced personal injury legal team at the Law Offices of Robert W. Elton may be able to help. Contact us in Daytona & Ormond Beach for a confidential consultation.