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Preventing Rollover Accidents

by | Sep 17, 2020 | Car Accidents, Catastrophic Injuries

Rollover crashes are some of the deadliest accidents, particularly in rural areas. Narrow, windy roads, often undivided and with no side barriers, are dangerous enough in any condition or vehicle. If you drive an SUV, pickup truck or van, which are taller and narrower with a higher center of gravity, these roads become a rollover risk. Add in any distraction or high speed, and your chances of a rollover crash or fatality increase. 

Don’t let the distractions of 2020 take your mind off the road. By following some basic driving guidelines and staying aware, you can prevent a rollover accident and arrive safely at your destination.  

Speed and Rural Roads Don’t Mix

Seventy-five percent of fatal rollover crashes occurred on rural roads with speed limits over 55 mph, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Many of these accidents involved pickups and SUVs. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), 66% of pickup truck fatalities and 56% of SUV occupant deaths occurred on rural roads, many in rollover accidents. 

Rollover Accidents Can Be Deadly

While rollovers accounted for only slightly more than 2% of all accidents in 2010, they accounted for 35% of all vehicle-related fatalities, according to the NHTSA. 

Single-vehicle rollover accidents cause the most fatalities. These accounted for three-fourths of the more than 6,500 deaths in rollover crashes in 2018, according to the IIHS. In many cases, the driver was involved in a routine driving maneuver, such as driving straight down the road or navigating a curve, but was distracted, not paying attention, speeding, or driving under the influence. 

A rollover happens when a vehicle tips on its side or roof at some point during a crash. Many rollovers happen after the vehicle leaves the road and often result in the driver and passenger being ejected. Wearing a seatbelt is key to surviving a rollover crash.

Tips for Avoiding a Rollover

Any vehicle can rollover in the right conditions, but if you drive a pickup truck, van or SUV your vehicle is more susceptible to rolling over. To avoid a rollover crash, follow some simple good driving rules: 

  • Watch your speed – the number of fatal rollover accidents increased with the speed limit.
  • Don’t overload your vehicle – overloading decreases a vehicle’s stability, particularly a pickup or SUV, and makes it more susceptible to rolling over in a crash. Check your manufacturer’s load suggestions and stick within them. Put the heaviest items on the floor and be particularly careful to not overload the roof.
  • Check your tires – make sure your tread is in good shape and your tires are properly inflated.
  • Don’t drink and drive – ever. Period. The NHTSA found that almost half of rollover fatalities involved alcohol.
  • Keep weather conditions in mind – rain, snow, sleet, fog and other bad weather conditions can increase the chances of a rollover accident due to reduced visibility and traction as well as load instability. Slow down and pullover if necessary.
  • Beware of tripping – when your tire hits a curb, bump or mound of soil, it can cause your vehicle to stop moving forward and instead roll to the side. This is called tripping. The NHTSA found that 95% of single-vehicle rollover accidents involved tripping.
  • Be cautious in construction zones or on bad roads – driving on uneven or poorly maintained roads can increase your chances of rolling over. Use caution and pay attention.

Contact the Experienced Personal Injury Attorneys at Hudson King

If you or someone you love was injured in a rollover accident, you might be eligible for compensation. At Hudson King, our team of personal injury attorneys have the experience and knowledge necessary to pursue the best possible results in your case. Contact us today at 229-515-8585 for a free case consultation.

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