Rollover car accidents are often very dangerous and even deadly. The following are some common causes of rollover car accidents and how to avoid such a crash.
Common Causes of Rollover Car Accidents
Losing Control of the Vehicle
The most common cause of a rollover car accident is the driver losing control of the vehicle. Actions such as texting, falling asleep, or any other kind of distracted driving may cause the driver to lose focus and control. Hitting a curb or other object in the roadway can cause the vehicle’s center of gravity to suddenly shift. The forward momentum can cause the vehicle to roll onto its side or rooftop.
Aggressive or Risky Driving
Risky maneuvers while driving is another common cause of rollover car accidents. Turning at a high speed or any quick maneuver can often cause the vehicle to roll. Such actions can cause friction between the tires and the surface of the road which makes the vehicle tip to its side or flip over. This is especially true for trucks, vans, or vehicles carrying heavy loads.
Force from Another Vehicle
Most often rollover car accidents only involve one vehicle. However, when a vehicle is hit side-on and then pushed over due to the force of the oncoming vehicle, it may roll. Frequently, a vehicle will hit a guardrail or other object that creates a ramp and results in a rollover car accident.
How to Avoid a Rollover Car Accident
You cannot always control every situation. Especially when sitting behind the wheel of a car or even riding as the passenger. But you can take certain safety precautions to reduce your chances of being involved in a car accident. The following are a few best practices to help protect yourself against a rollover car accident.
Drive sober. Never get behind the wheel after drinking. Even a small amount of alcohol can impair your judgement. In addition, never get a ride from someone who has been drinking. Nearly 50 percent of all fatal rollover accidents involve alcohol.
Know and understand the way your vehicle works. In the right conditions, every vehicle has the potential to roll. According to data from the NHTSA, an SUV, van, or pickup truck is more likely to roll than a sedan. The higher center of gravity and distribution of weight makes them easier to become unstable.
Pay attention to your speed and obey speed limit signs. 40 percent of all fatal rollovers were due to excessive speed according to NHTSA.
Focus only on the road when driving. Many people seem to believe they can multi-task behind the wheel. However, texting, talking on the phone, eating, reading, or engaging in any other activity while driving, is illegal and extremely dangerous. This is especially true when driving in areas of speed limits over 55 MPH or on rural roads.
If You Are Involved in a Rollover Car Accident
Rollover car accidents can seem especially scary because they often occur on rural roads and are single-vehicle accidents. In these circumstances, you will need to call for emergency assistance yourself and it could take a while before help arrives. The following are some important tips for if you are involved in a rollover car accident.
If you are able, exit the vehicle so you can assess your situation and survey the damage. If you have passengers, help them exit the vehicle as well if possible. This will also make it easier to flag down help.
Take a moment to calm yourself. Being involved in a rollover accident is a serious event.
Assess yourself. Do a pat down and check your body, face, hands, and feet. You need to determine if you are injured in any way that will hinder your ability to move. Even if you are trapped in the vehicle, assess any injuries you may have.
Check other passengers. If anyone else is in the vehicle with you, call them out. If possible, reach out and touch them for reassurance. Keep communicating with each other until help arrives.
Call for help. If you are able, call 911 and request that they send help immediately. Often times after such an incident, a person might not know where they are at, what happened, or even how long ago it was. All of this is normal. Rest assured help will arrive even with limited directions.
Car Accident Attorneys and Auto Accident Lawyers in Tri-Cities, WA
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