A vehicle is said to have been involved in a rollover crash when it tips over to the side or rolls over to its roof during a collision. Rollover crashes typically result in partial or complete ejection of the vehicle occupants, which increases the potential for catastrophic and fatal injuries. Vehicle rollovers account for only 1 percent of all traffic accidents nationwide. However, they result in one-third of all occupant deaths. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, in 2015 alone, there were 22,543 deaths involving occupants of passenger vehicles. Of those, 7,210 died in rollover crashes.
So, why do rollovers occur? A number of these crashes occur when a driver loses control of the vehicle and it begins to go sideways. When this occurs, an object such as a curb, guardrail, or uneven ground could trip the vehicle and cause it rollover. Rollover crashes may also happen when a driver attempts to turn the vehicle at a high rate of speed. In such cases, the friction between the road and the tires could cause the vehicle to tip and roll over. Multi-vehicle rollovers are also common. This is where a vehicle may be struck by another vehicle. The force of the collision may cause one or more vehicles to roll over.
Why Do Rollover Crashes Happen?
There are a number of reasons why rollover accidents occur. Here are some of the most common causes of these devastating crashes:
- High speed: Whether it is a single-vehicle crash or one involving two or more vehicles, excessive speed is one of the most common causes of rollover accidents. When one vehicle strikes another at a high rate of speed, the impact is bound to be devastating. Vehicles involved in high-speed collisions may tip over to the side or completely roll over either trapping occupants inside or partially or fully ejecting them.
- Drugs or alcohol: When drivers are impaired, the probability of a rollover crash is much higher. Drivers who are under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs lack the skill and judgment to drive in a safe manner. They are more likely make mistakes or drive recklessly endangering the safety of others.
- Vehicle defects: Design or manufacturing defects in vehicles could also lead to rollover collisions. Many vehicles today come with electronic stability control or ESC, a feature that helps prevent rollover collisions. However, when this feature doesn't work properly, vehicles may be more prone to rolling over. Some vehicles such as SUVs are more prone to rolling over because of the way they are designed.
- Tire problems: Very often, we see that vehicles that experience tire failure also tend to roll over. This is particularly true for SUVs or other vehicles such as 15-passenger vans. When there is a tire tread separation or tire failure, it is much more difficult for a driver to regain control of the vehicle.
Contacting an Experienced Lawyer
If you or a loved one has been injured in a rollover crash, you may be able to seek compensation for damages such as medical costs, lost income, hospitalization, permanent injuries, disabilities, and pain and suffering. Our experienced Orange County car accident attorneys will be able to examine all the facts of your case and help you secure maximum compensation for your injuries, damages and losses. Call us for a free and comprehensive consultation.