A rollover accident can be a traumatic experience. Rollover accidents occur less often than all other types of crashes, but when they happen, they are far more likely to be fatal. Rollover car accidents are more complex than regular crashes. Read on to find out more about rollover accidents and what to do if one happens.
What Typically Causes Rollover Accidents?
Certain types of vehicles are more prone to turning over than others. Vehicles with a high center of gravity and narrow track width are more unstable in maneuvers involving sharp turns. This instability increases the risk of tipping over if the vehicle begins to skid. Sport-utility vehicles and four-wheel drive pickup trucks are designed with a higher ground clearance for off-road driving, making them susceptible to rollover accidents.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), speed is another cause of rollover accidents. Nearly 75 percent of all fatal rollovers occur in zones with speed limits of 55 miles per hour or higher. Excessive speeding is involved in 40 percent of all fatal rollover crashes.
Driving under the influence of alcohol is a factor in almost half of all fatal rollover accidents. Alcohol can cause both anxiety and drowsiness, and it impairs a driver’s reaction time and affects their judgement, often giving a false impression of capability.
Distracted driving is at the root of many motor vehicle accidents, including rollover collisions. Since nearly 85 percent of all rollover-related fatalities involved only one vehicle performing a routine maneuver. The NHTSA concludes that driver behavior is a significant factor in rollover accidents. In the majority of cases, the vehicle that rolled over did not make contact with any other car.
Can Environmental Factors Cause Rollover Collisions?
There are other factors that can cause a driver to lose control of a vehicle, such as the following:
- Defective Tires: A tire blow out can easily destabilize a vehicle traveling at high speeds.
- Hazardous Weather Conditions: Snow and ice can result in slippery conditions that lead to a rollover accident.
- Poorly Maintained Roads: Potholes, inadequately marked construction, and uneven road surfaces can take drivers by surprise and cause rollovers.
- Manufacturing Recalls: Companies are required to warn consumers about known defects that can cause accidents.
What Injuries Occur from Rollover Accidents?
A rollover accident that is not fatal can cause severe and devastating injuries. Occupants of the vehicle are tossed as it rolls upside down and over. If occupants are not wearing seat belts, they can also be ejected from the vehicle. Broken glass and unsecured cargo can cause more injuries as the rollover occurs.
Injuries to the head, neck, and back are extremely common in rollover accidents. These include traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, skull fractures, whip lash, and slipped or herniated discs. These types of injuries can require multiple surgeries, long hospital stays for healing, and extensive rehabilitation therapy afterwards. They may also leave victims with long-term health issues, like chronic pain or paralysis.
What Should I Do After a Rollover Collision?
After a rollover accident, it is possible that a victim may either be unconscious or unable to move. However, if a victim is able to, they should turn off the engine immediately and assess the situation. Check oneself and the passengers for injuries. Although one may feel okay, shock and adrenaline after an accident prevents many people from realizing they are injured. Call 9-1-1 immediately for help.
Determine the safest exit from the vehicle, and keep in mind that this is how many accident victims are injured. If the doors are jammed, one may have to lower or break a window to escape. Check for and clear away broken glass and debris before proceeding. After one is out of the car, help the passengers to exit the vehicle, and then move as far away from it as possible in case it is leaking fuel. Be sure to stay on the shoulder and away from the road and oncoming traffic. Many accident victims have been injured or killed in traffic after leaving their cars.
When speaking with the police, give them an honest account of what happened while stating only the facts of the matter. Never give a statement to an insurance company representative at the scene of an accident.
If a victim has been seriously injured, they may want to consult with an experienced lawyer who can investigate the accident to determine who was at fault and the best course of legal action. If another driver caused the accident, the victim may seek compensation for their injuries. If the rollover accident was caused by a manufacturing defect, the company that made the dangerous product should be held accountable.
Wilmington Car Accident Lawyers at Rhoades & Morrow Help Victims After Severe Rollover Collisions
A rollover accident often causes severe injuries. If you need help with compensation, speak to a Wilmington car accident lawyer at Rhoades & Morrow. Call us at (302) 600-1107 or complete our online form for a free consultation today. Located in Wilmington, Bear, and Milford, Delaware, we serve clients throughout Middletown, Dover, Hillsborough, Lewes, Rehoboth, Elsmere, and Seaford.