Although any motor vehicle collision has the potential to be exceptionally dangerous or even fatal, vehicle rollovers are much more likely to result in serious injury or death. SUVs and other vehicles with high centers of gravity are the most common types of vehicles to roll over, although any car or truck can roll if the conditions are right. Here are two surprising facts about vehicle rollovers, how to stay safe, and what you can do if you or a loved one have been involved in a rollover accident.
1. Ejections From the Vehicle Account For a Majority of Rollover Related Deaths
The NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) estimates that 62% of all fatalities associated with vehicle rollover accidents are due to ejection from the vehicle. Ejections occur when the driver or passengers are not wearing a seat belts, the windows are rolled down or broken in the collision, and the force of the accident throws an individual out of the car or truck while it is rolling. Although serious injuries can still occur in a vehicle rollover accident, regardless of whether you wear your seat belt or not, the risk of death due to ejection from the vehicle is significantly reduced when you put your seat belt on.
2. Older SUVs Are the Most Likely to Roll
In 2001, the NHTSA assigned a star rating to vehicles by assessing the width between the front tires and their center of gravity, both of which play a significant role in whether a vehicle is likely to roll in a collision. Vehicles with a 1-star rating are more than 40% likely to roll in an accident, while 5 stars indicate a 10% chance of a rollover or less. Older SUVs were built tall and narrow, making them highly likely to roll. Newer SUVs are made with lower centers of gravity and wider bases, and many are rated at 5 stars. Avoid purchasing an SUV that was made before 2001, and ask the dealer about the star rating on any vehicle you’re considering buying.
Although being informed about rollover accidents and taking proper precautions can help reduce the risk of being involved in such a collision, rollover accidents can still happen. If you or a loved one were injured in a vehicle rollover, you may be eligible for compensation from your insurance company, the manufacturer of the vehicle, or the other driver if he or she was responsible for causing the accident. Contact a skilled personal injury attorney to discuss your case and the possibility of receiving financial restitution for the damages that resulted from the accident.