Can Vehicle Rollovers Be Prevented?June 2, 2017 | Category: Personal Injury, Truck Accidents | Share
In mid-April, a rollover crash on I-75 near Bonita Beach Road involving a dump truck and an SUV sent the dump truck driver to the hospital with critical injuries and shut down southbound lanes of traffic. The truck driver was traveling southbound on I-75 when an SUV, driven by a 56-year-old, moved into his lane, causing him to lose control of his truck. The vehicles crashed, causing the truck to overturn and dump a load of gravel and rocks onto the roadway, according to NBC Miami.
Safercar.gov says rollovers often happen when drivers overcorrect their steering as a panic reaction. This may be a result of other kinds of accidents, from taking turns too quickly, or from swerving. Safercar.gov reports the following:
- Some 40 percent of fatal rollovers occur because of speeding, and nearly 75 percent of fatal rollovers occurred where the speed limit was over 55 miles per hour.
- Nearly half of rollovers involve alcohol.
- Additionally, tall vehicles, with higher centers of gravity, are more likely to turn over.
How do rollovers occur?
Safercar.gov says that rollovers occur in one of two ways: tripped or un-tripped.
Tripped - Curbs, soft soil/shoulders, guardrails, pavement surface discontinuities, snow banks, or other objects can cause tripping.
Example: The driver of a pickup truck traveling down a 2-lane highway at a high rate of speed veers off the right side of the road, attempts to recover by steering too sharply to the left and causes the vehicle to roll over as its wheels dig into the soft soil.
Un-tripped - Un-tripped rollovers are less common than tripped rollovers, occurring less than 5 percent of the time, and mostly to top-heavy vehicles. Instead of an object serving as a tripping mechanism, un-tripped rollovers usually occur during high-speed collision avoidance maneuvers.
Example: The driver of a heavily loaded pickup truck traveling down a 2-lane highway at a high rate of speed swerves to the left to avoid two wooden crates in the right-hand lane. The driver attempts to recover by turning abruptly to the right. However the top-heaviness of the pick-up truck with a full load in the bed causes the vehicle to roll over, tumbling down the roadway.
The FHP has three rollover simulators which they have been using from Florida's Panhandle to south Miami. They have drawn thousands of spectators who want to see what happens to occupants in a rollover crash. According to the Public Affairs Officers, Occupant Protection Specialists, and others who use the rollover simulators in their traffic safety education programs, the rollover simulators are an extremely popular and invaluable tool for teaching seat belt and child restraint safety.
What can you do to avoid a rollover accident?
Consumer Reports recommends:
- Consider choosing a vehicle with a wider wheelbase and lower center of gravity. Minivans and high-profile 4-wheel drives are not as close to the ground, and thus are less stable on the road.
- Choose a vehicle with up-to-date safety features such as side-curtain air bags and electronic stability systems.
- Avoid overloading your vehicle, especially having heavy loads on the roof of the vehicle. Heavy cargo is safest when placed low in the vehicle and as close to the center of the vehicle as possible.
- Insist everyone in the car is buckled up.
- Take turns more slowly. "Tripping" up against a curb due to high speed on a curve can destabilize a vehicle.
- Drive appropriately for conditions. Drive cautiously.
- Maintain tire balance. Check the air pressure in vehicle tires regularly, and have tires rotated and balanced professionally as needed.
- Avoid impaired driving.
- Avoid tailgating or driving too close to other vehicles.
"Being involved in a rollover accident is very dangerous. If you or a loved one has been injured in a vehicle accident, please contact our experienced team of attorneys," said Fort Myers Car Accident Attorney, Randall Spivey.
Fort Myers Car Accident Attorney, Randall L. Spivey is a Board Certified Civil Trial Attorney - the highest recognition for competence bestowed by the Florida Bar and a distinction earned by less than 2 percent of Florida attorneys. He has handled over 1,500 personal injury and wrongful death cases throughout Florida. For a free and confidential consultation to discuss your legal rights, contact the Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A., in Lee County at 239. 337.7483 or toll free at 1.888.477.4839, or by email to Randall@SpiveyLaw.com. Visit SpiveyLaw.com for more information. You can contact Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A. in Charlotte County at 941.764.7748 and in Collier County 239.793.7748.