Rollover accidents can happen with any type of vehicle, but are more prevalent with vehicles that have a high center of gravity, such as vans, sports utility vehicles (SUVs) and light pickup trucks. In a rollover, the vehicle's center of gravity shifts causing the vehicle to roll over. Often vehicles hit a pothole, curb or soft shoulder or are on a steep slope, which creates a tripping force that triggers imbalance.
According to safecar.gov, a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) site, rollovers by nature are violent, complex crashes. Various factors often combine to cause the accident ─ driver behavior, vehicle type and road environment.
Here are some relevant statistics about rollover accidents:
- Excessive speeding was involved in 40 percent of fatal rollover crashes.
- Close to 50 percent of all fatal rollover accidents involved alcohol impairment.
- An estimated 75 percent of fatal rollover crashes occurred in rural areas where speed limits were 55 miles per hour or higher.
- In 90 percent of vehicles involved in fatal single-vehicle rollover accidents, drivers were engaged in routine driving, driving straight or around a curve, which suggested distraction, inattention, speeding or impaired driving was involved.
- The majority of rollover crashes (85 percent) involve single vehicles.
- An estimated 95 percent of single vehicle rollovers are tripped.
Fatality rates in rollover accidents are higher than other types of accidents, accounting for close to 35 percent of all fatal passenger vehicle crashes. Your chances of being ejected from the vehicle are also high. The National Institutes of Health reports that the risk of fatality is 91 times greater when a person is completely ejected during a rollover crash.
Local governments responsible for maintaining safe roads may be liable for potholes or poorly engineered shoulders that lead to accidents. When a negligent driver crashes into the side of your vehicle, causing it to roll over, an experienced Sarasota County accident attorney can help you hold the party accountable.