SUVs are particularly susceptible to rollovers because they have a high center of gravity. Adding to the tendency to roll over, is the typically narrow width between the left and right wheels and raised height of the vehicle to accommodate four-wheel drive. This all combines into reduced stability. This stability is decreased even further when passengers or heavy cargo are loaded into the SUV.
Light trucks with four-wheel drive have reduced steering capacity to negotiate sharp curves or corners, while minivans with raised suspension that carry several passengers are also more likely to roll over.
Tripped and Untripped Rollover Accidents
A rollover can be either "tripped" or "un-tripped". A tripped rollover occurs when a vehicle is sliding sideways, most often because of cornering too sharply while traveling at too high a speed, and the tires hit a curb, slide across uneven pavement surfaces, dig into soft soil, hit a guardrail or bump into a snow bank. Another scenario for a rollover is where a vehicle is traveling at a high rate of speed and one side of the vehicle rides up against an object, such as a guardrail. The third kind of rollover is when a vehicle is attempting to drive down a slope so steep the vehicle cannot remain upright.Tripped rollovers account for 95 percent of rollover accidents. The remaining 5 percent of rollover accidents are un-tripped. Un-tripped rollover accidents are usually caused when a vehicle swerves to avoid a collision at high speed. Speed, together with alcohol, is a large factor in fatal rollovers
Fatal Rollover Accidents and Wrongful Death Cases
Speed, together with alcohol, is a large factor in fatal rollovers. Seventy-five percent of fatal rollover crashes are attributed to speeds higher than 55 miles per hour on rural roads on weekend nights. Research indicates driver distraction may be responsible for fatal single vehicle rollover crashes as, at the time of the accidents, most drivers were driving under favorable conditions.
Approximately 15 percent of rollover crashes involved a collision with another vehicle. A side impact collision is most likely to cause a rollover. Unlike front, rear and side collisions, a rollover crushes the roof which often times cause severe head injuries for occupants who are restrained inside the vehicle. Seventy-five percent of occupants who died in rollover collisions are ejected outside the vehicle through broken windows, windshields and doors. You should consult with a personal injury lawyer immediately if you are involved in an accident to protect your rights.
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