Understanding Why Rollover Accidents Occur

Author: Auger Law | February 15th, 2017

cars on roads careful of rolloversIt’s not uncommon to hear of a rollover accident in the news. Typically, the story begins with tales of someone speeding, making a quick maneuver and ending up on their roof. There is a reason these accidents are in the news so frequently. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there are more than 280,000 accident involving rollovers each year. These accidents cause the deaths of more than 10,000 people annually.

Statistics point out that SUVs are far more likely to experience rollover than any other type of vehicle. Just over a decade ago, 35.7 percent of all fatal accidents involving an SUV ended up with a rollover. The reason behind this is that SUVs tend to be more top-heavy than other vehicles, moving their center of gravity to a higher elevation.

What Causes Rollover Accidents

These type of crashes are related to the stability of a vehicle in turns. A higher center of gravity, like that which is found in SUVs, and a narrow wheel width contribute to a vehicle being unstable. When a driver of one of these vehicles makes a sharp turn or takes a curve too quickly, they are at risk of rolling over. Most at risk are 4-wheel drive pickups and SUVs, both of which have higher ground clearance.

Rollover Rating System

There is no federal rollover standard for vehicles. There has been mounting pressure from consumers and experts for this type of requirement, but none has been enacted as of yet. The NHTSA did, however, introduce a rollover rating system in the early 2000s. The administration bases the ratings on a five-star system and looks at the vehicle’s center of gravity and the amount of space between the front tires. When a vehicle is given five stars, it has a low chance of rolling over. If a vehicle is given one star, it stands close to a 50 percent chance of tipping.

It is important to note that any car can rollover in the right situation. A car struck with severe force or even one that hits a median or curb can be launched into the air. That said, very few other classes of vehicles stand the risk of tipping during a turn like SUVs do. Drivers of these vehicles are urged to drive with caution and mind the posted speeds of the road. Drivers and passengers can sustain severe injury in a rollover crash, and some have been ejected from the vehicle, suffering fatal injuries as a result. The best protection in a rollover crash, and almost every other crash, is the wearing of a seat belt.

If you have been injured in any type of car accident in Charlotte and another driver was found to be at fault, that driver may be liable for damages. Contact our experienced team of Charlotte car accident lawyers to determine the types and amount of compensation you may be entitled to. We will review the details of your accident at no cost to you and advise you of your legal options.

Posted In: Car Accidents