Rollover accidents are collisions which cause the vehicle to tip over. This may mean anything from an SUV tipping onto its side to a Volkswagen tumbling down a ditch. Rollover accidents can lead to very severe injuries and make occupants more susceptible to severe head injury or death because of the roof’s tendency to cave in. Also, the people inside will likely impact the inside of the vehicle over and over again. Rollover accidents also create issues with removing the driver or passengers from the vehicle as the doors are often smashed or the roof caved in.
Two Types of Rollover Accidents
Tripped Rollover Accidents
You can think of a tripped rollover as being akin to tripping over a branch while hiking or being kicked in the back of the knees by a playful child. Both of these required the force of an external object to cause the trip or fall. A tripped rollover is an accident in which an external object causes the rollover. This can include being hit by another vehicle, running over a trashcan on the highway or driving into soft dirt causing the car to lose control and rollover.
Untripped Rollover Accidents
An untripped rollover is like losing your balance. This results from over accelerating, braking abruptly, turning too quickly or any other forces not caused by some external impact.
If you have been injured in a rollover accident, the personal injury attorneys at Herman & Wells in Pinellas are here to help. Here in the state of Florida, we are a “no fault” state, meaning that you may have options to get medical bills covered even if the accident was an “untripped” rollover and no other vehicles caused the collision. Furthermore, if another car or truck causes a tripped or untripped rollover but fled the scene (we call those phantom vehicles because no impact occurred), Mr. Wells can usually still make a claim against your UM (underinsured Motorist) coverage without your insurance raising your rates.
I drive an SUV, am I more susceptible to rollovers?
Any and all vehicles are susceptible to rollovers. The following factors influence rollovers:
Center of mass: The higher the center of mass, also called center of gravity is, the more likely a vehicle is to rollover
Width of the axle track: The narrower the axle is is, the more likely a vehicle is to rollover
Sensitivity of steering: The more sensitive the steering is, the more likely a vehicle is to rollover
Speed: the faster you are going, the more likely a vehicle is to rollover
SUVs are susceptible to rollover because they have a high center of mass which is caused by them being lifted higher off the ground than most other vehicles. Lifted trucks are especially susceptible to rollovers. Some other vehicles susceptible to rollover include full-sized vans and large pickup trucks. Again, however, it is important to know that any vehicle can rollover in the right conditions.
Why don’t all cars have roll bars or cages?
The most dangerous part of a rollover accident is the possibility of the roof caving in causing head injury. You may think that a solution to this would be a roll bar or cage, which prevents the roof from caving in. Unfortunately, building cars with roll bars or cages would severely limit the amount of space available for occupants. While there are standards for the amount of weight a car’s roof should tolerate, this is something consumers have proven to be unwilling to sacrifice. Your best option for preventing rollover crashes is safe driving.
How can I prevent being in a rollover accident?
You cannot prevent other people’s negligence causing a “tripped” rollover; however, here are some things you can do to lessen the chances.
Defensive driving: Be aware of your surroundings and be cautious. Objects in the road, water, or negligent drivers are all dangers outside of your control but defensive driving can help keep you safe.
Slow down: Drive at or below the posted speed limit and adjust appropriately when there is bad weather, traffic or unfamiliar terrain.
Be extra cautious in unfamiliar vehicles: Every car, truck or van is different and will react differently when taking a turn or braking to stop. While you should always be cautious in your own vehicle, be even more so in a new or unfamiliar vehicle. Take turns slowly, stay an extra car length behind other drivers and give yourself time to brake slowly in wet conditions.
Despite taking every step to be safe, a rollover collision can still happen to you. If you have been injured in a rollover accident, contact us today. Hiring a qualified personal injury attorney is the quickest way to determine if you have the option of pursuing a recovery for your damages from a rollover accident. Your first consultation is free and you owe us nothing unless we recover for you. Contact us today or call at (727) 821-3195.