Rollover accidents are some of the scariest and most dangerous of all motor vehicle accidents. In 2014, overturned vehicle accidents led to 514 fatalities and 1,798 incapacitating injuries in Texas. Many rollover accidents involved larger vehicles with higher centers of gravity, such as SUVs and pickup trucks.
A rollover accident can leave victims with many serious and life-threatening injuries. The Dallas rollover accident attorneys at Guajardo & Marks have helped many families coping with major injuries in their fight for financial compensation, and we know first hand just how devastating these accidents can be.
4 Types of Rollover Accidents
There are many different factors that can lead to rollover vehicle accidents. Here are four of the most common causes:
- Turns – When a vehicle is moving at a high rate of speed and turns sharply, it loses its grip and can flip or rollover.
- Ramps –When one side of the vehicle climbs up on an incline, the car may roll over.
- Skids – This happens when a vehicle, often off-road or in the rain, loses traction and it slips and rolls.
- Spins – If a vehicle’s wheels hit a solid object, it could spin out or roll over.
Why Rollover Accidents Happen
While some rollover accidents can be caused by driver negligence, such as overly aggressive driving, many rollover accidents are the result of vehicle defects, design flaws or even poor road conditions. These can all act as a “tripping” mechanism. A rollover “tripping mechanism” is what initially causes the type of rollover accident. Think of a blown tire that causes an over-correction or a large pothole that causes a ramp of one side of the vehicle. Some of the most common causes of rollover car accidents include:
- Tire failure – Defective tires can fail suddenly, causing a vehicle to lose control and flip or rollover.
- High center of gravity – Some vehicles have a design flaw known as high center of gravity. This is a cause that you often see in sports utility vehicles. When the driver is forced to make a sharp turn, the SUV may topple, causing a rollover.
- Defective suspension – A vehicle’s suspension system is responsible for aiding in the stability of a vehicle. If the suspension fails, the car can go out of control, causing a rollover or flipping accident.
- Poor road conditions – The government has a responsibility to maintain safe roadways. Poor signage, uneven pavement, and neglected maintenance can all become “tripping mechanisms” that cause a rollover accident.
These are the most common causes that our rollover accident attorneys have seen, but there are certainly other preventable causes of rollover accidents. As a rollover car accident victim, the main point to take away is that a defect or design flaw could have caused your wreck. And if that is the case, you may want to explore your legal options. You may be entitled to compensation for your wreck.
Examples of Defective Vehicle Rollover Accidents
Faulty design can make a vehicle more likely to tip over. For example, the Ford Bronco II was released in 1983, despite the fact that Ford executives knew the SUV had a tendency to tip over even at low speeds. Ford’s Explorer was also the subject of controversy due to the occurrence of rollover accidents caused by the Firestone tires Ford included on the SUV.
Seatbelts and Vehicle Ejections
Rollover accidents can be especially fatal for passengers who aren’t wearing seatbelts. During an accident, one can be tossed around inside a vehicle, or even ejected from the vehicle. Being ejected from a vehicle can lead to catastrophic injuries (spinal cord and traumatic brain injuries) and death. It’s easy to see why Texas law requires all vehicle passengers to wear seatbelts. Over half of all occupants killed in vehicle crashes weren’t wearing restraints at the time of the crash, and 26 percent of all fatalities were ejected from the vehicle during the accident.
Rollover Accidents and Crushed Roofs
The government requires vehicles to meet certain standards regarding the strength of that vehicle’s roof. According to the NHTSA, crushed roofs cause roughly 600 fatalities every year, despite the fact that many of those killed were wearing seatbelts at the time. One study suggested that for every 10 centimeters of increased roof collapse there is a 64 percent increase in the odds of a life-threatening injury. The same study also found a relation of rollover accidents to serious spine, neck and head injuries.
What Drivers Should Know About Rollover Accidents
Consumer Reports offers the following advice for drivers regarding rollover accidents:
- Buy vehicles with up-to-date safety features.
- Always buckle up when driving.
- Regularly check tire pressure. Consumer Reports suggests that drivers check their tire pressure once every month.
- Don’t overload your vehicle. Increased weight, especially on top of a vehicle, can lead to a higher chance of rollover accidents.
- Avoid excessive speed. Nearly 40 percent of drivers in rollover accidents were speeding at the time of the crash.
- Be mindful on rural roads. Nearly 75 percent of all rollover accidents occurred on rural roads with a speed limit of 55 miles per hour or more.
Injuries in Rollover Accidents
- Spinal Cord Injuries (SCI) – Serious back and neck injuries in rollover accidents can include major damage to the spinal cord. SCIs can leave victims paralyzed or with serious motor function impairment and a life of ongoing medical care.
- Traumatic Brain Injuries – Brain injuries can lead to permanent disability, paralysis, and motor and cognitive impairment. These injuries are often the result of serious vehicle accidents.
- Loss of Limbs/Amputations – The loss of a limb impairs a person’s quality of life in immeasurable ways. In addition to reduced functional capacity in daily activities, victims suffer phantom pains and expensive medical care.
- Organ Damage – The impact of a rollover accident can leave victims with serious internal injuries. When a person’s organs are damaged, it is not always easily detectable upon first look, making organ damage one of the most dangerous of all injuries.
- Paralysis – Serious spinal cord and brain damage can lead to paralysis. If a victim is paralyzed in a vehicle accident, they are forced to struggle against a number of obstacles, which are made even more difficult by the staggering costs of living with paralysis.
- Death – Sadly, rollover accidents are often fatal. Families grieving from the loss of a loved one frequently face large medical bills, funeral costs and loss of income. Survivors sometimes seek compensation for their losses in the form of wrongful death claims.
Have You Been Injured in a Rollover Accident?
While another driver’s negligence occasionally leads to a rollover accident, it is often the faulty design of a vehicle or vehicle part that causes these devastating accidents. At Guajardo & Marks, our Dallas rollover accident attorneys have fought for many families to seek compensation for their injuries and cover the costs of medical bills, ongoing care, pain, suffering and loss of work capacity. It’s important to act quickly after a rollover accident to ensure that your case has the best possible outcome. Contact Guajardo & Marks today for a free consultation.