A vehicle rollover is one of the worst things that can happen in a car accident. Even though they are not common, they account for 30% of auto accident fatalities. A rollover can happen to any vehicle, but vehicles with a high center of gravity are more prone to these types of accidents. All it takes is a quick turn at the right amount of speed to have a vehicle go sideways then tip (or flip) over.
What are vehicle manufacturers doing to help prevent rollovers?
Vehicle manufacturers are doing their part by creating rollover avoidance technologies as well as better vehicle designs.
- Just the right amount of tire grip: Too much tire grip can actually play a role in these auto accidents. A tire with too much grip can allow excessive sideways forces to build until the vehicle flips over, where a tire with the right amount of grip will let the vehicle slide instead of tip over.
- Electronic Stability Control technology: This is a computer based system that helps drivers maintain control of their vehicle in the event of an abrupt maneuver or unfavorable road conditions. Electronic Stability Control (ESC) is available in all SUVs sold in the U.S. since 2009. Studies show that ESC is reducing the tendency of SUV rollovers.
- New SUV Designs: Tall and top-heavy was the traditional design of SUVs for years, but the older SUV body style was also prone to rollovers due to its high center of gravity. The modern SUVs now have a more car-based design and are proving to be more difficult to flip.
- Rollover Airbags: Side airbags or “curtains” are triggered when a side impact or rollover is detected. These airbags can protect passengers from injury or ejection during a rollover accident.
What is the Government doing to help?
The Government is also doing their part with stronger government regulations.
- The Fishhook Test: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) conducts a dynamic rollover test on most new SUVs, minivans and pickups. The tests score rollover propensity by putting vehicles through a handling maneuver called a fishhook. A fishhook is a quick left-right turn at increasing speeds from 35 to 50 mph. This simulates a driver overcorrecting the vehicle’s steering, something that can happen in an emergency. If the vehicle lifts two wheels off the ground it is considered a “tip-up” and the testing stops. If the vehicle slides out or gets through the test without incident at 50 mph, it passes.
- Roof Rule is strengthened: The new roof rule says that vehicles weighing 6,000 pounds or less must be able to withstand a force equal to three times their weight applied to the right and left sides of the roof. The roof cannot bend far enough that it would touch the head of a median-height-male test dummy. The NHTSA estimates that a collapsing roof kills about 600 and injures about 900 people every year, even though they were wearing their seat belts.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a vehicle rollover accident, you need to contact a firm that understands how to approach these types of auto accidents. The Injury Attorneys at MADALON LAW will give you a free consultation and pay for all the expenses if we take the case. You will not be billed unless we win. Contact us now and get answers today.