A rollover is possibly the most frightening type of crash you could ever have. The vehicle suddenly flips, and you are powerless to stop it. You can only hope to ride it out as you are bounced around and upside down.
There are various reasons for rollover accident. One of the most common causes is that the vehicle may have “tripped” on something.
In car will roll, but some are more prone
Any kind of vehicle can roll over in the perfect storm of circumstances. However, vehicles that are narrower and taller – such SUVs, vans and pickups – are the most prone to rollovers. In a curve, a vehicle with a higher center of gravity will lean. As speed increases, the lateral forces will cause it to tip. Making too sharp a turn can trigger a rollover. Another common scenario is overcorrecting after a suddenly swerve, creating a pendulum or wobble effect that the vehicle cannot sustain.
The tripping problem
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration estimates that “trips” cause 95 percent of all rollovers. A trip is an incident where the vehicle’s tire encounters some sort of object or barrier. The wheel could hit a pothole in the road, strike a curb or make an awkward transition from pavement to soft shoulder. If the tire becomes deformed in the incident and the wheel rim strikes the obstacle, it could cause a tip-up, which can result in a rollover accident.
The NHTSA tests new cars, vans, pickups and SUVs for likelihood of rollover. The vehicle passes the test if can handle a quick “fish-hook” swerve at 50 mph without two wheels leaving the ground. It then publishes a rollover rating for every make and model, along with ratings for other safety factors.
As a result of tip-up testing and thousands of rollover crashes, automakers have made their vehicles substantially safer – wider wheelbase, different tire design and electronic traction control. Many new SUVs and hybrids are less likely to roll than certain sedans. Manufacturers also strengthened the roofs and roof supports. Many fatalities and injuries are not caused by the rollover itself, but by the roof collapsing when the car is upside down.
Preventing rollovers and minimizing injuries
To begin with, always wear your seat belt. That will provide some protection from from being tossed around inside the vehicle. Seat belts also prevent ejection from the vehicle, one of the greatest dangers in a rollver. Check your tires regularly to be sure they are properly and evenly inflated. Do not place heavy loads on the roof; that makes the vehicle even more top-heavy. Instead, place loads inside the vehicle, close to the center. Keep speed reasonable for the roadway and the conditions, and remain alert when you are driving in the country: nearly three-quarters of rollovers that result in fatalities occur on rural roads.
If you are the victim of a rollover, you may think you are not eligible for compensation if no other vehicle was involved. However, compensation is indeed possible in single-car accidents. And settlement will be based on the circumstances that led to the accident.
There might be insurance benefits under your policy, or there may be actionable claims against other parties. Another driver might be liable for a sideswipe, crossing the center line or other action which forced your vehicle off the road. Another car or truck could have dropped debris that caused to swerve, tip up and roll. There might negligence in the roadway design or maintenance. There might be a vehicle defect which caused or contributed to the rollover.
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