What puts you at risk for a fatal rollover crash?

Car crashes make the headlines nearly every day, but there are some that just sound scarier than others. Among the scariest of those crashes are the dreaded rollover.

There’s good reason to be terrified by the idea that your vehicle would ever roll onto its side or roof. Rollovers cause a disproportionate number of serious injuries and fatalities. Only about 3% of all crashes are rollovers, but they lead to about 30% of all traffic deaths. So what puts you at risk of suffering a rollover like the one that recently took place on I-70?

You may be putting yourself at risk

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says that drivers play a bigger part in rollovers than in most other crashes. They base this off the fact that almost 85% of all rollover fatalities result from single-vehicle crashes. In other words, if your vehicle rolls over, it’s more likely to happen because of something you did than from anyone crashing into you.

The NHTSA also points out some contributing factors:

  • High center of gravity: Tall, narrow vehicles such as vans, SUVs and pickups come with a greater risk of rollovers because they have higher centers of gravity.
  • Excessive speed: The vast majority of rollovers happen along stretches of road with higher speed limits, and nearly 40% involve excessive speeding. Slowing down will reduce your chances of getting into a rollover accident.
  • Alcohol use: The NHTSA says that nearly half of all fatal rollovers involve alcohol.
  • Rural roads: Most rollovers happen after a vehicle swerves and “trips” over a pothole, curb or shoulder. Drivers are more likely to swerve into such obstacles when they’re reacting to traffic or the other dangers of undivided rural roads with high posted speed limits.

The good news is that since most rollovers are caused by drivers, you can greatly reduce your chances of getting in one of these violent crashes by slowing down and paying attention.

Recovering from a rollover

Since the government acknowledges that most rollovers are the driver’s fault, what would that mean if you were ever involved in a rollover? What if you were the driver and swerved to avoid hitting a drunk or reckless driver? What if you were a passenger? Recovering from a serious accident can mean hefty medical bills. An experienced attorney can help you seek the compensation you are due.