Car accidents happen every day. Some accidents are more serious than others. Every year there are around 40,000 accidents that involve a fatality. Out of these 40,000 accidents, around 20% of them will involve a vehicle rollover.

Once a vehicle flips on its side, the chances of severe injury and even death can dramatically increase. A rollover exposes the driver to injury by the road, the vehicle, environmental factors and other cars.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) separates rollovers into two different categories.

A Tripped Rollover is when a vehicle slides into a sideways direction, then rolls over due to a tire digging into the ground, gravel, soil shoulder or even strikes an object like a curb, guardrail or road debris. Guardrail Rollovers (when front of car rides up guardrail in a ramp motion) and Steep Slope Rollovers (a rollover caused by a slope that is too steep) are also tripped rollovers. NHTSA data shows that 95% of single vehicle rollovers are tripped.

An Un-Tripped Rollover is when a vehicle (usually top heavy) is traveling at a high speed and makes a quick maneuver – possibly to avoid a collision. The momentum of the vehicle then causes the rollover. NHTSA data shows these rollovers only occur 5% of the time.

Does the vehicle someone drives matter?

A rollover occurs when a vehicle rolls onto its side or roof. Even though all cars are capable of rolling over, vehicles with a high center of gravity tend to be more vulnerable to rollovers. This is why it is common to see rollovers that involve an SUV or pickup truck.

The NHTSA released statistics for fatal accidents involving rollovers and the type of cars involved. Out of the 549 fatal rollover accidents in Florida, SUVs and light trucks were involved in 355 of the accidents. Passenger cars were next with 166 fatal accidents, followed by large trucks (22 accidents) and other vehicles (6 accidents).

SUV Rollovers – it may not be your fault

Car manufacturers have been adding features to newer make and model SUVs in order to prevent rollovers. The addition of electronic stability control and more stable designs are making rollovers less likely for people driving 2009 SUVs or newer. Still, there is well documented history on SUVs being susceptible to rollovers and the car manufacturer will be quick to blame the rollover accident on the driver.

Even though the car manufacturer and insurance company will claim the accident was a result of the driver turning too quickly and flipping the SUV, tests have shown than an SUV rollover could occur under certain circumstances by a slight turn of the wheel.

Can they be prevented?

Rollover accidents can happen in any vehicle, but there are quick and simple safety precautions you can take to help prevent a rollover or minimize the level of injury if you were to be in one. Please read our page on preventing and surviving a rollover accident to learn more.

If you or someone you love has been involved in a vehicle rollover accident, please contact the injury attorneys at MADALON LAW for your free consultation and get answers to your questions today.