Rollover accidents, while relatively uncommon in Texas motor vehicle crashes, can be deadly. A crash event is considered to include a rollover when a vehicle tips over onto its side or roof. While rollovers account for less than three percent of all passenger vehicle accidents, they are responsible for nearly a quarter of accident fatalities. Rollover accidents are so deadly because they can lead to partial or full ejection of drivers or passengers from their vehicle, which often causes serious injury or death.
With over 10,000 people dying every year in rollover accidents, experts have been searching for ways to reduce the number of fatalities. Certain types of vehicles also have a greater propensity for rolling over than others. It is common knowledge that SUVs roll over more often than other vehicles and result in more fatalities, but what many don’t realize is that pickup trucks are next on the list – mainly as a result of driver behavior (pickup truck drivers are less likely than others to wear their seat belt, making rollover fatalities more common).
To have the best chance of surviving a rollover crash, drivers and passengers are advised to take some common sense precautions.
- Wear your seat belt. seat belts help keep you strapped into the vehicle in the event that it rolls over. Since around half of all rollover fatalities happen when people are partially or completely ejected from the vehicle, staying strapped in your seat can keep you alive. About 75% of those thrown free of vehicles in a rollover die from their injuries. You can also avoid serious injury if you’re strapped in, since being tossed around a vehicle during a rollover can cause major damage to the human body.
- Check your tires. Make sure that your tires are properly inflated and in good shape. Low tire pressure can make a vehicle less stable and more prone to rolling over. There have also been a number of rollover accidents resulting from worn tires, where the tread separates from the tire. And, if you replace the vehicle’s tires, make sure you buy the right kind.
- Don’t overload. Try to avoid overloading your vehicle, especially if you drive an SUV or pickup truck. Always make sure that you follow the manufacturers load recommendations, and place the heaviest cargo low down so you don’t raise the vehicle’s center of gravity. The worst place for heavy loads is the roof of the car, as this can actually increase the chance of rollover.
- Don’t speed. Excessive speed is a common factor in rollover accidents, as speeding drivers more easily lose control of a vehicle. Speed can also make rollover accidents more severe.
- Drive carefully on back roads. Rural country roads are the most dangerous place for rollover accidents. Research shows that about 75 percent of all fatal rollovers occur on rural roads with a speed limit of 55 mph or more.
Were you injured in a Texas rollover accident? Contact us to find out your legal rights by calling 877-724-7800.