Cars, sport utility vehicles, crossover utility vehicles, jeeps, all-terrain vehicles, and many types of trucks have one thing in common – they’re all susceptible to rollover accidents. Rollovers occur due to physical forces which cause the vehicle to fall to the side or flip over onto the roof of the car. Rollover accidents are often deadly. Drivers and passengers who survive a rollover crash can suffer catastrophic, life-changing consequences. Many victims can never work again. Many rollover victims suffer a lifetime of pain.
Why do rollover accidents happen?
Rollovers usually occur because an object – such as another vehicle, a guardrail, an object in the road, or some other force – causes an imbalance between the forces on the bottom of the car and the forces on the top of the car. This imbalance causes the vehicle to roll or tip.
Which vehicles are most likely to roll over?
According to The Clever, the 10 vehicles most likely to rollover are, in descending order:
- Cadillac Escalade
- Ford F-250
- Ram 2500
- Toyota 4runner
- Jeep Wrangler Unlimited 4WD
- Nissan Nv3500
- Hummer H2
- Jeep Wrangler TJ (1997 edition)
- Dodge Nitro
- Chevrolet Silverado
What causes lead to rollovers?
While rollover accidents can be the result of a collision with another vehicle, most rollover accidents are single-vehicle accidents. Common causes of rollover crashes include:
- Driving at high speeds especially while trying to navigate a turn
- Driving on roads that are uneven such as roads under repair at construction sites
- Driving on wet and slick roads which can cause the vehicle to hydroplane or make it difficult for the driver to keep control of the vehicle
- Driver recklessness or negligence, including contributing factors such as driving under the influence of alcohol, driving while distracted, speeding, and driver fatigue.
The vehicle itself is can be a leading cause of rollovers. A vehicle that has a higher center of gravity, like SUVs, CUVs, vans, Jeeps, and many types of trucks, has a greater risk of rolling over.
Rollover accidents can be fatal
Rollovers aren’t that common, but they are dangerous. Passengers are at the greatest risk of a fatal injury. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, in 2019:
- 6,358 occupants of passenger vehicles died in rollover crashes. About 3/4th of the crashes involved a “pre-rollover impact.” About 1/4th of the rollovers didn’t involve any impact before the crash.
- 28% of all deaths involving occupants in passenger vehicles involved a vehicle rollover.
- About 4 times as many deaths in passenger vehicles occurred in single-vehicle crashes than in multiple-vehicle crashes.
- 20% of rollover occupant deaths involved cars.
- 38% of rollover occupant deaths in involved pickups.
- 39% of rollover occupant deaths involved SUVs.
What are the common types of injuries associated with rollover accidents?
Occupants who are lucky enough to survive a rollover crash may suffer one or more of the following types of injuries:
- Head injuries, including traumatic brain injuries (TBIs). When a car, SUV, truck, or other vehicle rolls over, the occupants may be ejected from the car – especially if the driver or passengers aren’t wearing a seatbelt. Occupants who stay in the car may fly about the car or strike the interior ceiling of the car as the vehicle rolls over. Head trauma can cause a loss of cognitive function along with physical and emotional injuries.
- Spinal cord injuries. Rollover accidents place a lot of pressure on the back and spine. In severe cases, a driver or passenger may become partially or completely paralyzed. Victims often need to treat with neurosurgeons, orthopedists, pain management doctors, and various types of rehabilitative therapists.
- Many victims of rollover accidents break their arms, legs, or other bones in their body
- Neck injuries. Whiplash and other types of chronic neck injuries are common in rollover crashes.
Other injuries from rollover accidents can include:
- Damage to internal organs
- Dental injuries
- Injuries to joints, muscles, nerves, ligaments, and tissues that can require long-term physical therapy and other types of care
- Cuts and bruises, which can increase the risk of infections setting in
Who’s liable for a rollover accident?
The answer depends, in part, on how many vehicles were involved and who the victims are:
- If another vehicle causes your vehicle to roll over, the driver and passengers in your car have the right to file a claim against the driver and owners of the vehicle that caused the accident.
- In single-car crashes, the passengers can file a claim against an irresponsible driver.
- If the crash is due to a product defect, then all rollover victims can file a claim against the manufacturer of the vehicle.
- The state, a local county, or a state agency such as the Tennessee Department of Transportation may be liable if they failed to properly design or maintain the road where the rollover crash occurred.
Safety suggestions for reducing the risk of a rollover
There are safety tips for people who wish to purchase a vehicle and suggestions for drivers once they buy a car, SUV, CUV, truck, jeep, or other rollover-prone vehicles. These tips include:
- Understanding how likely your vehicle is to roll over. You should check various resources such as the IIHS, Consumer Reports, and other resources to understand how likely to roll over your vehicle is.
- Find out what assistive technology your vehicle has. Some vehicles have technology that helps reduce the risk of roll over.
- Check the pressure and quality of your tires. You should have the correct tires for your vehicle. The tires should be inflated to the proper levels.
- Ask what type of airbags your vehicle has. Some airbags may work better in the event of a rollover.
You should also avoid drinking and driving, take curves and turns slowly, follow the speed limit, and try to avoid roads that may have excessive debris, like construction zones or roads in more rural areas (especially after a storm). Always wear your seatbelt so you’re less likely to be ejected in the event of a rollover accident.
When a vehicle rollover causes a tragic death or any type of injury, you need experienced car and truck accident lawyers on your side. The seasoned Memphis rollover accident lawyers at Bailey & Greer, PLLC, have extensive personal injury experience combined with a record of strong results. We’re respected by defense lawyers, insurance adjusters, and our former clients. To make a free, no-obligation consultation in our Memphis or Jackson office call 901-475-7434, or complete our firm’s contact page.
Since graduating magna cum laude in 2005 from the University of Memphis School of Law, Thomas has helped make a difference in the lives of victims of serious personal injury, wrongful death, and professional negligence. Thomas has extensive trial experience in both state and federal court. Among other victories in the courtroom, Thomas obtained several impressive jury verdicts and settlements
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