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Causes of rollover accidents and how to avoid them

Tennessee residents may be interested in a Consumer Reports article regarding rollover accidents, which result in high fatality rates for those riding in a passenger vehicle. Although approximately 3 percent of crashes are rollover accidents, statistics indicate that 30 percent of people involved in these types of wrecks are killed.

The vehicles more prone to roll over are vans, SUVs and pickup trucks because these types of cars are more top-heavy. The government estimates that 95 percent of rollover accidents occur from hitting an obstruction such as a curb or a pothole. Some safety advocates dispute the high percentage, claiming that the government and automakers downplay the role of vehicle design and roof integrity and shift the blame to the driver and road conditions.

In order to avoid a rollover accident, it is in the driver’s best interests to avoid speeding, wear his or her seat belt and keep the car’s tires properly inflated. When loading a vehicle, heavy items should be placed on the floor near the center. The driver should also comply with the manufacturer’s load ratings and consider the weight of rooftop items that may offset the gravity and balance of the vehicle.

If air bags failed to deploy or safety belts did not restrain an individual properly in the event of a rollover accident, a product liability claim could be brought against a car or parts manufacturer. A personal injury lawyer could review accident reports to determine if malfunctioning or defective car parts were contributing factors in a crash. Victims could be compensated for their pain and suffering as well as medical care costs.

Source: Consumer Reports, “Rollover 101”, November 20, 2014

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