Not every car accident is considered the same when it comes to the damage that results. While any type of crash can lead to injuries or even death, some forms of collisions are more likely to cause harm than others. Among the crashes that are most likely to turn deadly are rollover car accidents.
A rollover is defined as any crash where a vehicle leaves its wheels, tipping onto its side and/or roof before coming to a rest. Part of the danger with a rollover comes from the fact that vehicles are not designed to roll, meaning that safety features that apply in other forms of crashes may not help rollover victims. For example, while front airbags may deploy and cushion victims in the event of a head-on accident, vehicle do not have airbags that can deploy from a ceiling to protect victims if a car rolls. The lack of safety devices combined with ability of the side and roof of a vehicle to crumple puts drivers and passengers at a greater risk for injuries than many other types of collisions.
With the issues surrounding rollovers understood, the focus becomes preventing those accidents from ever taking place. If safety is your goal, consider the following rollover factors:
Type of Vehicle – If you want to ensure your safety, make sure you consider what type of vehicle you will be driving or will be riding in as a passenger. While any type of car can roll over, some are more likely than others. Vehicles with a higher center of gravity, those on a narrower frame, or those that have been modified from their original form may be more likely to roll than others. This means SUVs, pickup trucks, and heavily loaded passenger vans will pose a greater risk of being involved in a rollover car accident than vehicles like small sedans.
Driver Action – Unlike some other types of collisions, rollovers may involve one or more vehicles. But of the fatal rollover accidents that take place in America, 85 percent involve single vehicle accidents. Some of these collisions are believed to be caused by factors beyond the control of a driver, like a blown tire or a mechanical failure, but the majority of them are thought to be impacted by the actions of the person behind the wheel. Whether it is taking a sharp turn, striking a curb when turning, or even over-correcting when a vehicle is drifting, a driver’s actions can cause an accident that may claim lives.
Speed – Traveling at a high rate of speed is correlated with rollover car accidents in Chicago and elsewhere in the nation. Government reports indicate that 40 percent of all rollover crashes involved excessive speed while nearly 75 percent of all fatal collisions happened on roads with speed limits of 55 miles per hour or greater.
Presence of Alcohol – It is never a good idea to drink and drive because alcohol increases the odds of a crash taking place. Any form of collision is more likely with an impaired driver, and rollover collisions are no exception. In fact, almost 50 percent of all rollover crashes involve some amount of alcohol, and experts believe that many of those accidents could be prevented in their entirety if drivers abstained from drinking and driving.
Type of Road – You may be unable to control which roads you drive on during a typical day but you can be alert to the issues posed by various forms of roads. Among the most dangerous are rural roads without dividers between directions of traffic. National studies indicate that roughly 75 percent of fatal accidents happen on these roads, which are typically two lanes and with a speed limit of 55 miles per hour. Exercising caution on rural, high-speed roads may make the difference between a safe trip and a rollover accident.
If you are the victim of a rollover car accident or is someone you love was hurt or killed in a Chicago collision, you may have the right to bring a civil claim for your damages. Speaking with a personal injury attorney can help you realize what options may exist for you and how you can move forward after a crash.
The legal team at Abels & Annes, P.C. is standing by 24 hours a day, seven days a week to take your call toll free at (855) 529-2442 or locally at (312) 924-7575. We offer all injury victims a no-cost, no-obligation case consultation where everything discussed will be kept confidential, and if we represent you, we will never charge you a fee unless we make a recovery on your behalf.
Prior Blog Entry:
Anatomy of a Spinal Disc Herniation after an Accident, Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, published October 23, 2015.