Vehicle Rollovers & Tire Defects
Rollover accidents are one of the most dangerous kinds of vehicle crashes. The fatality rate is higher than any other type of crash. Serious injury and death are common in rollovers due to the severity and violence of the incident. Many causes for rollover accidents exist, and it’s not just SUV’s (sports utility vehicles) that are at risk. Cars, vans, buses, and trucks are all susceptible to rollover crashes. If you have been involved in a rollover accident, please contact our attorneys immediately for a free consultation.
Rollover Crash Causes
Multiple factors contribute to a car, van, or truck rolling over, including vehicle type, road conditions, speed, old or defective tires, and driver behavior. Due to the severe and complex nature of rollovers, the cause and object or person at fault may not always be clear. Following are some causes and risk factors for rollover accidents and fatalities.
Type of Vehicle: As mentioned, almost any vehicle can rollover. Nevertheless, certain design elements can increase the risk of a rollover accident. Vehicles with a high center of gravity, and/or those that are tall and narrow, such as SUV’s, minivans, and pickup trucks, have a higher incidence and risk of rolling over.
Road Conditions: Poorly maintained roads and highways can cause a rollover.
Defective Tires: Unfortunately, many auto accidents happen because of tire problems. Faulty tire stems, bead failures, defective sidewalls, even tread cracks can cause tire explosions leading to a rollover.
Speed: Speed often plays a role in death from rollover crashes. Almost 75% of fatal rollover crashes happen in a 55 MPH or higher zone, while 40% of all rollovers deaths involve speeding.
Driver Behavior: Many rollover accidents happen in single-vehicle events and during routine driving maneuvers, such as turning or exiting a highway. Contributing factors to rollovers in these cases may include:
Driver Distraction: Such as cell phone use, distractions within the vehicle including radio and passengers
Speeding: As mentioned above
Alcohol: A factor in almost half of all deadly rollover accidents, or other mind-altering substances
Location: Areas with speed limits of 55 or higher account for more than 70% of fatal rollovers
Rollover Death Statistics
Rollovers are not the most common form of car or vehicle accident. But when they do happen, they are often fatal. A roof caving in or a person being thrown from their car can be frightening and deadly. While only about 3% of all passenger vehicle accidents are rollovers, rollovers account for almost one-third of all fatalities. Each year over 10,000 are killed in rollover crashes, with over 70% of deaths happening to people not wearing seatbelts.