6 Factors Involved in Rollover Accidents

By Greg Kohn

Rollover accidents are some of the worst types of car accidents to get involved in. They occur in only three percent of all crashes but are responsible for over 30 percent of passenger vehicle fatalities.

Rollover accidents are avoidable. If all drivers take precaution and drive carefully, rollover accidents can be avoided. If you were involved in a rollover accident because of someone’s negligence, you are eligible for compensation for the injuries you’ve suffered. To ensure you get the compensation you are entitled to in a roll over accident, talk with a New Jersey car accident attorney.

The Factors Involved in Rollover Accidents

  • Vehicle Type

While any vehicle can roll over, the ones most susceptible to doing so are SUVs, vans, and pickups. This is because rollovers are usually related to vehicle stability, which is affected by the vehicle’s center of gravity and track width (length of space between the right and left wheels). The higher a vehicle’s center of gravity and the narrower the track width, the more likely the car is to roll over, especially when negotiating sharp turns. This is the case with 4WD pickup trucks. On the contrary, the lower the center of gravity and the longer the track width, the lower the chances of the car rolling over.

  • Speeding

Speeding is a huge contributor to rollover crashes. According to the National Highway Transport Safety Administration (NHTSA), speeding is a contributing factor to 40 percent of all fatal rollover crashes.

Speeding is dangerous because it increases the lateral forces a vehicle is subject to. For example, when a vehicle is maneuvering a turn, sideways forces around the bend cause the car to tip on one side. A vehicle that is speeding around a turn faces higher lateral forces, making it more likely to topple and roll over.

  • Alcohol

According to NHTSA, almost 50 percent of all rollover accidents involve alcohol. Alcohol impairs the body’s senses and slows down reflexes so that a person who is driving while under the influence is not able to react quickly enough to emergencies, making it more likely to lose control of the vehicle.

  • Location of the Road

Rural roads are far more dangerous than urban roads. According to the NHTSA, almost 75 percent of all fatal rollovers happen in rural areas. The roads here are usually undivided and have no barriers, increasing the likelihood that a speeding vehicle will roll over.

  • Driver Distraction

Data from NHTSA reveals that 85 percent of rollover fatalities occur in single-vehicle crashes. In addition, over 90 percent of all single-vehicle fatal rollover crashes occurred while conducting routine maneuvers such as turns. This implies that drivers who are not paying attention to the road and are otherwise engaged in dangerous behaviors such as texting, eating or drinking while driving are part of the problem.

  • Tripping

Many single-vehicle rollover crashes occur because the vehicle tripped on something such as pothole or curb. In some cases, this could mean that the driver was not paying attention to the road.

Many rollover accidents can be avoided if the driver is alert, careful and reasonably cautious. Drivers owe a duty of care to drive reasonably safe so as not to endanger the lives of other road users. When a driver breaches this duty of care occasioning harm, the injured persons can file personal injury claims against the negligent driver. If you were injured in a rollover accident, contact the New Jersey auto accident lawyers at Nagel Rice, LLP today to get started on your personal injury claim.

About the Author
Greg Kohn is a partner at Nagel Rice and specializes in complex civil litigation cases, including professional malpractice, personal injury, class actions, wrongful death, products liability, and commercial litigation.  He has extensive experience representing clients in both state and federal court. Greg has tried many jury trials to verdict and has recovered over $50 million in settlements and verdicts in all types of personal injury matters including automobile accidents, wrongful death cases, slip and falls, and other catastrophic injury cases. Greg also handles medical malpractice cases, involving misdiagnoses, wrongful birth, and delayed cancer diagnosis. If you have questions regarding this article, you can contact Greg here.