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How Rollover Crashes Happen And What You Can Do To Avoid Them

Rollover crashes have been cause for concern for a number of years, beginning in the 1950s. Rollovers are rare crashes, but when they occur they are much more likely than most other types of crashes to result in serious injury or death. Rollover crashes account for 33% of all passenger vehicle fatalities, killing more than 10,000 people a year.

More than 80% of rollovers involve no other vehicle. Rollovers are most likely to occur as a result of the following:

  • A driver suddenly swerves to avoid an obstacle

  • A driver accidentally veers off the road

  • 3 out of 4 fatal rollovers occur on rural roads with a speed limit of 55 mph

  • Excessive speed is a contributing factor in about 40% of fatal rollovers

  • Alcohol is involved in at least half of all fatal rollovers

Although some vehicles are more likely than other to rollover, any car can. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a higher proportion of all light trucks and vans on the road are involved in these types of crashes.

Reduce Your Risk of a Rollover

Keep your vehicle in good condition and always be alert while driving. Because no other vehicles are usually involved in rollover crashes, you are largely in control. The following tips, provided by Consumer Reports, can help you avoid becoming a victim of a rollover crash:

  1. The newer the car, the better. Choose a vehicle with the most up-to-date safety systems, paying special attention to electronic stability control and side-curtain airbags.

  2. Wear your safety belt. Half of rollover fatalities occur because a person is thrown out of the vehicle. Seat belts keep you in your seat so you are not tossed around, increasing your chances of staying safe.

  3. Check tires frequently. Make sure they are properly inflated to the recommended pressure.

  4. Don’t overload your vehicle, especially SUVs and pickup trucks. Do not place heavy loads on the roof and stay well within the load ratings specified by the manufacturer.

  5. Watch your speed. Speed makes the tendency of a vehicle to roll over much more severe and is a leading cause of rollover crashes.

  6. Be most cautious on country roads. Most rollovers occur on roads where the speed limit is 55 or more on undivided highways without barriers.

If you are concerned about the rollover risk of your vehicle, or are considering a new vehicle and want to know about rollover risks involved, visit the NHTSA’s Rollover Ratings at

The attorneys at Van Wey Law represent victims of car accidents, including rollover accidents. If you have been seriously injured as a result of the negligence of another driver, contact Van Wey, Presby & Williams today for a free evaluation of your case. We have the experience and expertise to get you the compensation you deserve.

By: Kay Van Wey | December 7th, 2015

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