Rollover Accidents

While it may not involve a direct collision between two vehicles, a rollover can be a frightening experience and one that can result in severe injuries. All vehicles are at risk of a rollover, but sports utility vehicles (SUVs) in particular run a high risk of tipping over due to their top-heavy design. If you’ve been involved in a rollover accident, you will need our experienced attorneys to fight to get you the compensation you deserve.

Common causes of rollover accidents

According to a 2003 study, an SUV is more than twice as likely to roll over during a serious accident than a passenger car, due to its higher center of gravity. SUVs are particularly at risk when loaded with cargo inside or on top of them, increasing that weight high above the wheels. There are four major causes of rollover accidents:

  • Excessive speed. The faster you drive, the lower the SUV’s stability when you enter a turn. As a result, even a gradual turn can shift an SUV’s weight enough for it to roll.
  • Slippery conditions. The less traction an SUV’s tires have on the ground, the greater the likelihood that the car will slip and turn erratically, an event called “tripping.”
  • Overloading. As described above, increasing the weight inside or on top of an SUV raises its center of gravity even higher, increasing the risk of a rollover, especially when combined with other factors.
  • Severe slopes and grades. Roads that are designed for water run off or that are built over undulating terrain may put SUVs on a dangerous tilt that can cause or contribute to a roll.

Common rollover injuries

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that rollover accidents account for 35% of all passenger vehicle deaths. Even if a rollover accident doesn’t result in a fatality, passengers are put at risk of numerous injuries including:

  • Being spun about inside a rolling vehicle can put tremendous stress on the neck and spine.
  • Blunt force trauma. Passengers can be thrown about inside the vehicle, hitting the walls and console and causing concussions, broken bones and other injuries.
  • Lacerations. If the vehicle’s windows shatter, passengers may be cut by broken glass flying around the cabin as well.
  • Ejection-related injuries. Anyone not wearing a seatbelt may be thrown from a rolling SUV or car, causing even more severe injuries if they collide with a roadside object or are thrown into traffic.