Motor vehicle accidents take the lives of thousands of people each year – more than 33,000 in 2012, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. One type of accident has a higher fatality rate than any other kind, and that’s a rollover crash. While rollovers occur in only about 2% of accidents, they account for nearly 35% of the deaths in passenger vehicle crashes. In 2010 alone, more than 7,600 people died in rollover crashes.
Rollovers are categorized as either tripped or un-tripped. A tripped rollover happens when a vehicle leaves the road, sliding sideways and digging its tires into a soft surface like soil, or when it strikes something like a curb or guardrail. Most single-vehicle rollovers – 95 percent – are tripped. Most untripped rollovers happen when a vehicle going at a high speed maneuvers sharply, as when trying to avoid a collision. Data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) show that nearly 85% of all rollover-related fatalities are the result of single-vehicle crashes, not wrecks involving other vehicles that may have caused the roll.
Factors contributing to rollovers
Tire failures, like tread separation, can cause a vehicle rollover. So can defective design of the vehicle itself or its suspension system. When the SUV or other vehicle is inherently unstable by design, rollover accidents may give rise to a product liability claim against the manufacturer. Product liability cases are complex and time-consuming; they require extensive investigation and expert testimony. Many lawyers don’t want to take on such a case, and many injured people are fearful that they don’t have the financial resources to pursue one.
Let us put our resources to work for you.
Indianapolis car accident attorney Mike Stephenson has the resources of the law firm of McNeely Stephenson at his disposal. If you have a good case – and a FREE evaluation will show whether you do – you can hand the worry over to the firm and let their resources back you up. If you or a loved one has been injured in a rollover accident, call Mike Stephenson at 855-206-2555.
Because of their high center of gravity, SUVs have been notorious for their risk of rolling over. The automobile industry has developed electronic stability control (ESC) systems to compensate for the instability of SUVs and pickup trucks. NHTSA estimates that ESC has the potential to prevent 64 percent of passenger car rollovers and 85 percent of SUV rollovers in single-vehicle crashes. These safety devices became mandatory equipment in all vehicles, regardless of size, produced after 2011. The problem is, there are still many vehicles on the road that lack this safety feature.
In addition, in recent years automakers have made SUVs more stable by lowering the center of gravity.
Even though SUV designers have improved their rollover risk (and only for new models, at that), SUVs aren’t the only vehicles on the road that can have rollover accidents. According to a June 2011 report from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, of vehicles from model years 2005 to 2008, these are the worst for rollover deaths:
- Nissan Titan pickup
- Nissan 350Z sports car
- Mitsubishi Eclipse compact car
- Chevrolet Aveo subcompact car
- Nissan Versa sedan
- Pontiac Solstice convertible
- Dodge Ram trucks
- Chevrolet Colorado small trucks
- Mazda 5 stationwagon.
As you can see, just because your family vehicle is not an SUV doesn’t mean you aren’t at risk for a rollover accident.