Common Types of Rollover Accidents

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration categorizes rollover accidents in two ways, tripped and untripped. Of all single-vehicle rollover accidents, 95% of them are tripped. This simply means that something catches the tires and causes the vehicle to rollover. Though much less common, untripped vehicle rollovers are just as severe as tripped rollovers. These are caused when a driver attempts a collision avoidance maneuver at speed.

Unlike untripped rollovers, tripped rollovers are broken down into three subcategories.

The NHTSA identifies the subcategories as soft soil, guardrail, and steep slope. Soft soil rollovers are a result of a vehicle attempting to recover after veering of the road and having its wheel get caught in soft soil such as soft shoulders, pavement surface discontinuations, snow banks, or other object such as curbs. Guardrail rollovers are caused when a vehicle’s tires ride up on a ramp-like object causing one side of the vehicles to become airborne or lose contact with the road and forcing the vehicle into a roll. Similar to soft soil rollovers, steep slope rollovers are causes by a vehicle veering off the road and onto an inclined slope that is too steep for the vehicle to remain upright. The NHTSA recommends always having the electronic stability control system on a vehicle activated in order to help avoid loss of control when veering off the road.

While tripped rollovers generally occur off the road, untripped rollovers often occur while still on the pavement. Greenfield car accident attorneys point out that these generally happen when a top-heavy vehicles attempts change the direction of a vehicle too quickly and thereby causes a quick shift in weight that initiates the rollover. These are most common in large vehicles like loaded trucks, SUVs, and 18-wheelers. Numerous studies have confirmed that SUVs are far more likely, by as much as 75 percent, than many other vehicles to be involved in a rollover accident due to their design. This may be why it seems as though they are more expensive to insure. Higher risk of accidents translated to inflated premiums.

Though many of these accidents are often caused by the driver’s own negligent driving, in some cases these accidents are caused by someone else on the road or even the manufacturers of the vehicle. The website of Crowe & Mulvey, LLP states that many rollover accidents caused by a third party can be avoided if that other party had acted more responsibly. These cases are commonly associated with defective vehicle or tire manufacturing, road defects due to lack of maintenance or improper construction, and reckless or negligent driving by others.

One Response to “Common Types of Rollover Accidents”

  1. Lary says:

    Great article!

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