With the growing popularity of SUVs and other high-profile vehicles, rollover accidents are becoming a more common occurrence. While any vehicle can roll over, taller vehicles like pickup trucks, vans and SUVs have a greater tendency to do it because of their center of gravity is higher.
Unfortunately, rollover accidents have higher rates of fatalities than other vehicle accidents, which is why you should seek to avoid them if at all possible. To do that, you need to understand some of the common causes of rollover crashes:
- Excessive speed
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Driving on rural roads without center dividers
- Driving on bad tires
Here are some tips on preventing a rollover accident from ConsumerReports.com:
Newer is better. Choose a vehicle with the most up-to-date safety systems. Especially important are electronic stability control and side-curtain air bags.
Wear seat belts. Statistics show that nearly 50% of rollover deaths occur when people are partly or completely ejected from the vehicle. Don’t think it’s good to be “thrown clear.” In all types of crashes, nearly three-quarters of people ejected from a vehicle are killed.
Check the tires. Make sure all the tires are in good shape and properly inflated to the pressure recommended by the vehicle manufacturer. Check the inflation pressure at least once a month. Replacement tires should be similar to the vehicle’s original set.
Watch the load. Overloading any vehicle, particularly pickup trucks and SUVs, decreases stability. Never place heavy loads on the roof and try to stay well within the load ratings specified by the manufacturer (check your owner’s manual.) Try to place the heaviest cargo low on the floor and as far from the rear and as close to the center of the vehicle as possible.
Watch your speed. Speed makes a vehicle’s tendencies to roll over more severe, and it also makes more demands on a driver’s attention and skill. About 40% of rollover fatalities involve excessive speed.
Beware on country roads. Almost 75% of fatal rollovers occur in rural areas on roads where the speed limit is 55 mph or more. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, those roads tend to be undivided highways without center dividers.
Roberts & Roberts focuses on helping people who have been injured in accidents. Please call 800-248-6000 or contact us for a free consultation with our experienced personal injury legal team for the compassionate representation you deserve.