Vehicles can roll over during an accident. Under the “right” conditions, any car is at risk of rolling over. Let’s look at how vehicles roll over, including different types of rollover accidents.
What Happens When a Vehicle Rolls Over?
A rollover accident happens when a vehicle loses control. The car swerves onto its side (or front) and continues rolling.
Another driver is usually involved in a rollover. However, single-car rollover accidents can happen too.
Rollovers happen in one of two ways: tripped and untripped.
Tripped Vehicle Rollovers
According to the National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA), “tripped” is the most common type of rollover. Data shows that 95% of rollover accidents are tripped.
Tripped rollovers happen when a vehicle engages in the following sequence of events:
- Leaves the road
- Slides sideways
- Hits an object or digs into the soil
External objects cause tripped rollovers. The vehicle “trips” over an object like a curb, steep slope, or guardrail. The car can also “trip” after digging into the ground. This movement suddenly increases the sideways force.
A crash with another vehicle can also start a tripped rollover. The car becomes unstable during the side-impact collision. The vehicle moves sideways, but the tires resist the movement. The two forces cause the vehicle to rotate.
Untripped Vehicle Rollovers
Untripped rollovers do not happen very often. They make up about five percent of all rollovers. Unlike tripped rollovers, untripped rollovers do not involve other objects.
Untripped rollovers happen when different forces act at one time. For example, say a car is going around a tight corner. Three forces are working:
- Forces from the tires
- Centrifugal force
Each force is pushing in different directions. The competing forces cause the car to start to turn over.
An untripped rollover often happens at high speeds. For example, a driver might swerve quickly to avoid a collision. Or, they could take a curve too sharply. The sudden shift can cause the car to roll over.
Untripped rollovers are most common with top-heavy vehicles. Full-size vans, SUVs, and trucks are most prone to rollovers.
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What Are the Different Causes of a Rollover Accident?
Rollover accidents often occur due to reckless or careless driving. Unfortunately, many people can become the victim of a rollover accident. According to Consumer Reports:
- Rollovers happen in only about three percent of severe accidents
- Rollovers make up about 30% of accident deaths
Here are the leading causes of rollover accidents.
Speed is a factor in many fatal rollover accidents. Almost 3/4 of deadly rollover crashes happen where the speed limit was 55 miles per hour or more.
Speeding and aggressive driving cause a lot of rollovers. Risky actions like swerving can cause rollovers at high speeds, and friction between the road and car’s tires can lead to tipping.
Data from the NHTSA shows that more than 90% of deadly single-car rollovers involved regular driving actions. The driver did not perform any sudden movements. So, they were likely distracted or impaired.
Distracted driving is a big problem. A rollover is more likely to happen when a driver is:
- Texting while driving
- Distracted by passengers
- Driving while fatigued
- Talking on the phone
- Checking email
Anything that takes someone’s eyes off of the road is dangerous. Rollovers are more likely to occur with driver distraction.
Any amount of alcohol can cause deadly accidents. Rollover accidents are no exception. A drunk driver is more likely to lose control of their vehicle.
A drunk driver can also collide with other vehicles. If it’s a side-impact crash, the collision could cause another car to tip over.
Driver Losing Control
Someone can lose control of their car for many reasons. They might be drunk, distracted, or tired.
Even a moment of inattentiveness can cause an accident. The driver might collide with a curb or another object, causing a rollover.
Most rollovers are single-vehicle accidents. The driver’s actions often lead the vehicle to roll over. However, single-car rollovers can still injure other drivers.
A rolling vehicle can collide with other drivers on the road. If the car rolls off of the roadway, it could crash into pedestrians. Even a rollover with one driver can cause many injuries.
Multiple-car rollovers are less common, but they still happen. A side-impact accident can cause a car to tip and roll over.
What Should I Do After a Vehicle Rollover?
After a rollover, check your injuries. You will likely need emergency medical treatment. Do not delay calling 911 for medical attention and to report the accident.
If another driver caused your accident, you have rights. You might be entitled to compensation. The following actions can help build your case:
- Take pictures of the accident scene.
- Talk to any witnesses. Ask for their contact information.
- Exchange information with the other driver.
- Call an experienced car accident lawyer.
Gathering evidence from the scene will help your case. Your lawyer can use the information to build a strong claim. They will know how to fight for what you deserve.
Talk to a Car Accident Lawyer for Free Today
Rollover accidents are often severe — and even deadly. If you suffered injuries in a rollover, call John Foy & Associates.
For over 20 years, we’ve helped accident victims seek compensation for their costs. You should not have to pay for another person’s mistakes. Contact us today to learn more during a FREE consultation.
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