Surviving a Rollover Car Accident

When it comes to car accidents, one of the most frightening occurrences is when your car rolls over. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, more than 7,600 people in the U.S. suffer fatal injuries in rollover crashes. In recent years, this number has accounted for 35 percent of reported traffic fatalities, despite the fact that only two percent of motor vehicle accidents are classified as rollover accidents.

While the vast majority (85 percent) of rollover crashes involve a single vehicle, rollover accidents can be caused by many factors, including the type of vehicle you drive.Understanding the most common factors of rollovers and identifying simple safety steps can help you minimize your risks of being involved in a rollover accident and suffering a serious injury.

Common Causes of Rollover Accidents

  • The speed of the vehicles involved in the crash is a big factor. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the majority of fatal rollovers happen in zones where the speed limit is 55 miles per hour or higher. When a vehicle’s tires “come into contact with soft soil or snow,” a driver’s natural reaction may be to brake hard or attempt to over correct and steer out of a slide. These actions,
  • Overcorrecting, a natural reaction, can also lead to a rollover accident. When a vehicle’s tires “come into contact with soft soil or snow,” a driver’s natural reaction may be to brake hard or attempt to over correct and steer out of a slide. These actions, however, can result in a vehicle becoming off-balanced and tipping or rolling over.
  • Vehicle type and the weight distribution of heavy loads can also lead to a rollover accident. While, under certain conditions, any vehicle has the capacity to be involved in a rollover accident; taller vehicles, as well as those that are unevenly weighted, are more at risk. Therefore, drivers of SUVs and cargo and regular vans should be extra cautious when traveling on windy days or around curves.
  • Alcohol also plays a role in these types of accidents. Nearly half of all fatal rollovers involve an intoxicated driver.
  • A driver's familiarity with the location and route there driving can impact their likeliness of a crash, an individual that doesn't routinely drive the route may be less aware of sudden turns, corners or bends in the road.

Surviving a Rollover Car Accident

We know the main causes of rollover accidents, but the issue still stands: people in our state will be injured and killed in rollover accidents, in certain situations a rollover accident may unpreventable. If you are involved in a crash, these steps can help you survive a rollover car accident.

  • Wear your seatbelt. The majority of individuals killed in rollover accidents each year were not wearing their seatbelt. Single vehicle rollover accidents can produce eight times more driver/passenger ejections than any other accident, wearing a seatbelt is the single greatest factor that can increase your chances of survival and decrease the severity of injuries suffered.
  • Stay calm. After the crash has happened, it's important to try to stay calm. If you have been injured, further movement can cause more damage to your body.
  • If you can do so without hurting yourself, turn off the engine and make sure that no one is smoking in the vehicle.
  • Do not bend over or try to cover your head. When the airbags deploy, they can cause a lot of damage to your neck.

If you're involved in a rollover odds are you may suffer serious injuries and incur hefty costs associated with medical care and lost wages. While these tips are easier said than done, understanding the common causes of rollovers and tips to minimize injury can help you and your loved ones survive a rollover car accident.

Howard Raphaelson
Howard A. Raphaelson founded Raphaelson & Levine Law Firm, P.C. in 1992 after graduating from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. Established in New York, NY, his personal injury law firm has obtained numerous million-dollar verdicts. With over twenty-five years of experience as a personal injury attorney, he has earned a trusted reputation from his peers, judges, and top leaders, including recognition among the top 5% injury attorneys as a “Super Lawyer” (Thomson Reuters) and “New York’s Best Lawyers” (New York Magazine).
View Attorney Profile