A rollover accident is one in which a vehicle, usually a Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV), truck, pick–up truck or van, flips over onto its roof or side. Rollovers are the primary cause of deaths in SUV crashes and the second cause (after head–on collisions) of vehicle–crash deaths overall. In fact, in 2004 alone 8,565 vehicles were involved in fatal rollover cases. When rollovers do not result in death, they often result in serious and catastrophic injuries. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, rollover crashes are more likely than any other type of accident to result in fatalities.What factors contribute to rollover accidents?
- Unstable, top–heavy vehicles. Tall vehicles with a high center –of– gravity, such as SUVs, trucks, pickup trucks, vans, mini–vans and buses are more likely to be involved in rollovers than small passenger vehicles/compact cars. The increased height and weight of these vehicles makes them less stable than smaller vehicles. Securing objects to the tops of these vehicles increases the chances of a rollover even further. Ford Broncos, Isuzu Troopers, and Mitsubishi Monteros are most notorious for being involved in serious rollover accidents.
- Jerking the steering wheel and hitting “trips.” Many rollovers occur when a driver has to make a sharp and sudden jerk of the wheel (un–tripped /frictional rollover) or hits a “trip” like a curb, median or guardrail (tripped rollover). Tripping occurs most often when a vehicle is traveling at a high speed and one side of the vehicle hits an object, forcing the vehicle to become airborne or rollover. The U.S. Department of Transportation has found that 95% of all rollover accidents occur due to tripping.
- Multi–vehicle car accidents. When vehicles, particularly those types mentioned above, are struck from the side by another vehicle, rollovers can happen. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, approximated 20% off all rollover accidents involve multiple vehicles.
- Speeding and distracted driving. Speeding is a common cause of all kinds of car/truck/SUV accidents, including rollovers. Distracted driving (such as texting, eating, drinking, applying make–up, turning around to focus on children, etc.) is another frequent cause of severe rollover accident. Distracted drivers can either take their hands off the wheel, take their eyes off the road, or simply take their mind off driving. Any of these actions can, in just a fraction of a second, cause a severe roll over accident.
- Snow, ice, and wet weather. Bad weather conditions create a stronger likelihood of car accidents. When, for example, an SUV or pick–up truck skids on a slippery road, the driver might have to abruptly correct the wheel, leading to a rollover. Particularly in Massachusetts, which is known for often having roads covered in snow or ice, all drivers are at an increased risk for crashes.
Rollover accidents can cause serious injury, and in some cases even death. While wearing a seatbelt can greatly reduce the likelihood of serious injury in an accident, even the safest drivers can be involved in rollover accidents. A few examples of the injuries rollover accidents can cause traumatic brain injuries, injuries to the spine, broken bones, or even internal bleeding. The most common of these injuries is a traumatic brain injury, which can cause severe and long lasting symptoms.Rollover Accident Attorneys at Altman & Altman, LLP
Rollover accidents are often the result of another person or entity’s negligence, and you may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Our group of car–accident lawyers has been successfully representing persons injured in rollover accidents for decades. We will fight tirelessly for you and your family, and we won’t stop until we get the best settlement or verdict possible. To discuss your case with one of Massachusetts’ best personal injury attorneys, call 617.492.3000 or 800.481.6199 or contact us online.