Vehicle Rollover Accidents - An All-Too-Often OccurrenceDecember 29, 2014 | Category: Vehicle Rollovers | Share
In the early morning hours of Saturday, December 13, according to WINK News, a 28-year-old man died as the result of a single-vehicle crash in Collier County when his vehicle rolled over. Just before noon on the same day, Charlotte County Emergency Medical Services (EMS) reported that a 25-year-old passenger in a vehicle rollover accident on I75 was airlifted to Lee Memorial Hospital. Within approximately 24 hours of the first accident in Collier County, another rollover accident occurred. A 37-year-old man, not wearing a seat belt, was pronounced dead at a single-vehicle accident in Charlotte County at 1:20 a.m. December 14. The truck rolled over at Gulfstream Boulevard and Avalon, Englewood, FL.
"We feel it is important to review some of the causes of rollover crashes in an effort to reduce their number," says Florida Rollover Accident Attorney, Randall Spivey of Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A.
Rollover accidents can be caused by a number of things in addition to vehicle type, according to Safercar.gov. Vehicles with higher centers of gravity such as SUVs, vans, and trucks are more susceptible to single, rollover vehicle crashes. The other factors which may be involved include speed, alcohol, location, routine driving maneuvers/behavior.
Speed - Safercar.org reports that 40 percent of all fatal rollover accidents are the result of excessive speed.
Alcohol - Alcohol impairs the driver's judgment, vision, and coordination. With impaired function because of alcohol consumption, more rollovers occur.
Location - Rural roads with undivided lanes are more likely to be the scene of rollover accidents.
Routine driving maneuvers/behavior - NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) reports that 90 percent of fatal single-vehicle rollover accidents are the result of routine driving maneuvers such as going straight or negotiating curves. From this statistic, NHTSA suggests that driver distraction plays a role in these accidents.
NHTSA conducts on-road vehicle rollover tests on most new SUVs, pick-ups, and minivans, according to Consumer Reports. The NHTSA tests score the rollover propensity by putting the vehicles through handling maneuvers called a fishhook. A fishhook is a quick left-right turn at increasing speeds from 35 mph to 50 mph. If the vehicle lifts two wheels off the ground, it is considered a "tip-up" and the testing stops and the vehicle does not pass. If the vehicle slides out or gets through the test without incident at 50 mph, the vehicle passes the test. The rollover ratings can be found at Safercar.gov.
The rollover resistance of a vehicle is rated on a scale of one to five stars by NHTSA. Attorney Spivey points out the safety value in selecting five-star vehicles.
In 2009 the newest rule regarding roof-crushes came out. This rule, according to Consumer Reports, says that "vehicles weighing 6 thousand pounds or less must be able to withstand a force equal to three times their weight applied alternately to the left and right sides of the roof. The roof cannot bend so far that it would touch the head of a median-height-male test dummy." Vehicles weighing between 6 thousand and 10 thousand pounds, previously exempt, now are covered by only required to withstand 1.5 times their own weight on the roof not three times as required of smaller vehicles. The President of Public Citizen, Joan Claybrook says, "The standard fails in three ways:
- It does not require the plate pressing on the roof to be angled farther forward to better simulate real rollovers.
- It does not apply enough force. Experts agree that to withstand the forces of a real rollover, roofs should support about four times the vehicle weight, not three times their weight as the new rule specifies.
- Safety belts are not required to hold occupants in place during a rollover. As cars roll, occupants are pulled out of their seats and toward the roof. Most safety belts in use today won't stop that."
Florida Vehicle Rollover 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 just one (1%) percent of Florida attorneys. He has handled over 2,000 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 at 239.793.7748.