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Rollover accidents are more fatal than any other type of car accident, but also perhaps one of the most preventable. The NHTSA reports that in 85% of rollover accidents, only one car was involved. Though this statistic may be shocking, it is also encouraging in that they are more preventable.
What conditions contribute to rollover car wrecks? Almost all the contributing factors are driver-related. For instance, nearly half of all fatal rollover crashes involve alcohol. Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol impairs your ability to judge and react quickly to a situation.
Also, rollovers tend to occur when the driver is driving over the speed limit. This is another factor completely within your control. At higher speeds, it takes longer to slow down and the damage will always be more severe. The human body will suffer far greater forces during a crash at higher speeds.
The NHTSA also reports that driver distractions play a large part in these types of wrecks. Most of these wrecks occur with only one car in a routine driving. The driver usually becomes tired or distracted, drifting off the road. The tires will either strike a curb, guardrail, or other object, or will sink into the dirt. This results in what is called “high tripping force,” which causes the vehicle to rollover. This is yet another reason to put down your cell phone and focus on the road. The consequences can be fatal.
Finally, the type or road and the type of car you are driving also contribute to the likelihood of a rollover accident. Most of these accidents occur on rural roads that are undivided and have no barriers. The stretches where the speed limits are higher tend to be most deadly. Tall, narrow cars such as SUVs have a higher center of gravity, and therefore are more likely to tip over.
Rollover crashes highlight the importance of wearing a seatbelt. In 2010, the NHTSA reported that over 7,600 people died in these wrecks, and almost 70% of them were not wearing their seatbelts. Without a seatbelt, passengers can easily be ejected from the car. Severe brain injuries can occur, resulting in death.
If you were involved in a car accident, call one of our attorneys to get immediate advice.