A few days ago, two men were killed in a two-vehicle crash that resulted in a rollover collision. According to the Accident Data Center, Curtis Leon Dallas and Rickey Thurline Wilcox were killed when the Chevrolet Prizm, driver by Dallas, collided on U.S. 27 with a Chevrolet Trailblazer, driven by Deborah Hammonds Bouchard. Wilcox was a passenger in Dallas’ vehicle. The Prizm rolled several times before striking a fence in a cow pasture where the vehicle came to rest. Curtis Leon Dallas was declared dead at the scene, while Rickey Thurline Wilcox was pronounced dead at Williston General Hospital. The driver of the Trailblazer, Bouchard, received minor injuries. It is not known at this time what caused this crash.
At about the same time, Rodney McRoberts lost control of his 1999 Chevrolet Blazer and it overturned several times before eventually coming to a stop upside down. McRoberts, who was 54 years old, died in this crash. He apparently tried to overcorrect the Blazer back to the right after he lost control of it in Columbia County, Florida, on Road 47.
Yet another rollover crash in Marin County killed two and injured 10 when a vehicle lost control on the Florida Turnpike. The family of 12 driving this 2006 Ford Expedition was from Apopka. This rollover was apparently caused by a blown tire that had a left rear tire tread separation.
Accident data statistics have found that rollovers are more likely to happen when driving an SUV; however, vehicle manufacturers have been steadily been making improvements to change those statistics. In newer vehicle models, Electronic Stability Control technology is directed at preventing, spinning out or oversteering.
Causes of Rollovers
While a specific type of vehicle can play a bigger role in rollover incidents, all vehicles “can” rollover. Not only SUVs in St. Petersburg, but vans and pick-ups, due to their higher center of gravity, are more prone to rollover collisions and accidents, although they are more likely to be involved in a single-vehicle crash. Speed, alcohol, driver behavior, and location can all factor into rollover accidents.
Rollovers are responsible for nearly 35 percent of fatalities in passenger vehicle crashes across the country, not just in Saint Petersburg. In 2010, statistics show that in addition to the action of the rollover itself, 69 percent of fatalities in rollovers also were not wearing seatbelts.
Rollovers are classified within two types: tripped or un-tripped. Single vehicles are almost always (95 percent) categorized as tripped, meaning that a vehicle leaves the road and slides to the side, either striking a guardrail or curb or allowing the tires to dig into soft soil. Un-tripped rollovers are far less common and are seen mostly with top-heavy vehicles traveling at high speeds that must maneuver suddenly to try to avoid something in the path of their vehicle.
It is important to know proper maneuvering techniques to prevent being involved in rollover collisions. Things you can do include not panicking and using caution especially when driving on rural roads. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), “Nearly 75% of all rollover crashes occur in rural areas …” As well, understanding tire pressure and load limits can be crucial. Tires that are worn or not properly inflated can add to the danger of driving situations because they take away from your ability to maintain control over your vehicle.
If you have been involved in a rollover collision in Saint Petersburg and you have questions, consult with a personal injury attorney in the St. Petersburg area.