On Sunday night, an 18-year-old motorist hit the right shoulder of the road and rolled his ’88 Ford Mustang over. Emergency responders took him to a local hospital. Meanwhile, they transported his 17-year-old companion to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. Washington State Patrol said the cause of the accident is still under investigation. The WSP noted the driver had been wearing his seatbelt, while the female passenger had not been.
What is a Rollover Accident?
When the accident turns the vehicle onto its side or roof, it is a rollover crash. All vehicles have the ability to roll over under the right conditions. However, studies have shown that vehicles with higher centers of gravity are more susceptible to rolling over. “A rollover accident happens when there is a dramatic effect on the vehicle balance after vehicle traverses a curve which eventually shifts the vehicle center of gravity to one side.” http://www.crashtest.org/rollover-test/
The types of motor vehicles people drive are as varied as the people who drive them. With the increasing popularity of SUVs and lightweight trucks, the number of rollovers amongst them has also significantly increased. Due to their lifted undercarriage, they’re more susceptible to rolling over when faced with the right combination of external factors.
Important Factors of a Rollover Accident
Rollovers usually involve single vehicles. It’s interesting to note that nearly 85% of all fatalities resulting from a rollover were lone vehicles. This suggests that the driver’s behavior and decisions played a more significant role in the rollover crash than some of the external factors usually attributed to the cause, such as a change in the driving or road conditions. Multiple factors and driving conditions can turn deadly in a rollover crash.
Safercar.gov says that rollover accidents are particularly violent in nature. And more than any other type of vehicle crash, their conclusion reiterates that a rollover accident directly reflects the interaction between the driver, road, vehicle, and environmental factors. So while the type of vehicle is important to note, it’s not the only factor playing a significant role in what caused the vehicle to roll.
Excessive speed is always a grave concern with any car wreck, but fatality rates in rollover crashes increase by 40% over other types of crashes. And nearly half of all fatal rollover crashes had an impaired driver, either from alcohol or some other substance.
Fewer But Deadlier
Rollovers only occur in 2% of all crashes, but can be the deadliest of wrecks. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that rollover accidents account for over 10,000 deaths in the United States every year. Auto makers have set out to design vehicles with stronger roofs and safety features to reduce the risk of fatalities and passenger ejections in the event of a rollover. Laws require all 2012 and newer model passenger vehicles to have safety technology built into their components. These features specifically address hazardous rollover possibilities. Check out Consumer Reports’ list of different elements that can affect a vehicle’s overall safety performance.
Manufacturers call one safety feature of late model vehicles the Electronic Stability Control (ESC). This feature helps prevent sideways skidding and loss of control that could lead to a rollover. This technology has already led to a reduction in rollover fatalities by more than 70%. http://www.iihs.org/iihs/topics/t/rollover-crashes/topicovervie
Common Injuries in a Rollover Accident
Some of the most common injuries from rollover accidents include: broken bones, internal injuries, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries (TBI), and death. As noted before, the vehicle’s safety restraint system can prevent 50% of rollover fatalities.
The most important factor in saving your life in a rollover accident may very well be the seatbelt holding you in your seat. A roll can easily throw objects (including unbuckled passengers) around the cabin. The force of impact can eject unbuckled passengers through the windshield or windows. About half of fatalities in rollover accidents are due to persons being ejected from the vehicle, dying on impact or from injuries sustained because of the ejection. One simple safety feature could have prevented this from happening–a seatbelt. It cannot be said enough–Always wear a seatbelt!
If you or your loved one has been injured in a rollover or car accident that wasn’t your fault, call Fielding Law Group today for a no-cost consultation. Fielding Law Group will help you get the compensation and help that you need.
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