Rollover Accidents

There is nothing more powerless than the feeling of a motor vehicle accident and the rollover accident that can happened faster than a blink of an eye. A client of ours described a rollover accident to us like this:

"I was a child in the back seat of the family car and it was raining. The car hydroplaned and the very next thing I saw were the bushes and trees upside down. We were off the road in a ditch eight feet, at least, from the edge of the road. I was still in my seat belt. The back window was broken enough for me to crawl out of it, but my Mother was trapped and injured in the front seat. I remember the car was still running because the tires were spinning at eye level. We lived and to this day I say we were lucky."

This client and his mother were very lucky. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that in the year of 2010 alone, nearly 7,600 people died in rollover accidents.

At Julie A. Rice, Attorney at Law, & Affiliates, our personal injury lawyers have successfully represented hundreds, if not thousands, of people and families who have suffered because of rollover accidents. If you have been injured, or a loved one has been tragically killed, then contact us immediately for your free legal consultation at 770-865-8654, 1-800-284-2509 or via email at [email protected]. We also welcome inquiries through our website. We look forward to hearing from you and discussing your case.

What Causes Rollover Accidents?

NHTSA has stated the following in terms of what causes a rollover accident:

  • 69 percent of the fatalities from rollover accidents were not wearing seat belts. In the accident that was described herein above, the young man survived and he was wearing his seat belt. If he had not been wearing his seat belt, then his fate may have been very different.
  • 40 percent of the rollover accidents were caused by speeding often when there has been a speed limit posted that is over 55 MPH. An important lesson to be learned is that even though the posted speed limits on the highways and freeways continue to increase, that does not mean that it is safe to travel at those speeds. Regardless of the posted speed limit, you want to gauge your rate of speed in accordance with the road conditions whether they are clear and dry, or foggy, rainy and wet. You also want to consider whether there is road construction as most posted speed limits decrease when there is road construction taking place at that location.
  • Over 50 percent of the rollover accidents were caused by drinking and driving. Although the blood alcohol count (BAC) may be somewhere from .05 to .08, and all variations above, below and in-between, it can be argued that any BAC that is over .00 is too much. Alcohol impairs judgment and when you combine the power of a motor vehicle with someone who is lacking judgment, you have a recipe for disaster.
  • Rollover accidents happen more frequently on rural or county roads, again with speed limits posted above 55 MPH. This is because on rural or country roads, there is usually not a partition in the middle to stop a vehicle from rolling over multiple times.
  • All makes, models, and types of motor vehicles can be susceptible to a rollover accident. The tall, narrow vehicles such as pickups, vans and SUVs are, however, more likely to rollover than their smaller or more compact counterparts.
  • 90 percent of the time, the driver was performing a routine driving maneuver such as negotiating a curve or going straight and there was still a rollover accident.
  • Statistical data does show, however, that the driver in the rollover accident was distracted in some way or another, whether it is from speeding, being impaired, or some other form of lack of attention to the road.
  • 85 percent of the rollover accidents involved one vehicle and these are further referenced as one vehicle only, or single-vehicle accidents.

When you analyze the statistics shown herein above, you begin to see a pattern of what causes the rollover accidents and, therefore, some common sense ways to protect yourself from such a fate:

  • Wear your seat belt at all times;
  • Slow down;
  • Do not drink and drive (zero tolerance);
  • Do not be distracted from the road
  • Slow down, even more on rural or county roads that do not have a median or partition;
  • Check the safety records of any vehicle you are purchasing such as an SUV, pickup truck, or van so that you know and understand the risks of driving the type of vehicle that you are driving.

It is important to realize that no matter how many of the safety measures that you follow that there is always a chance that you could be involved in a rollover accident. If you observe common sense safety tips and develop some of your own, then you reduce those chances with every measure that you take accordingly. There is also a good deal of new safety equipment for automobiles now like ABS (anti-lock braking systems) so if you have a chance to purchase a vehicle with more safety options, then that is worth your time and money as it could save a life.

If you or a loved one has been involved in a motor vehicle accident of any sort, then please feel free to contact us so that we may discuss the details of your accident with you accordingly. All of our consultations are free of charge and we look forward to hearing from you soon.