Although vehicle rollovers account for only three percent of all serious crashes, when they do occur they make up 30 percent of all fatal collisions. Despite the high risk of serious personal injury or death, Minnesota residents may be surprised to learn that the government has no regulations in place to govern rollover safety for automobile manufacturers.
Certain kinds of vehicles, such as trucks, vans and SUVs, are more susceptible to rolling over in an accident than are passenger cars. Vehicles with a higher center of gravity are generally more likely to roll over, but any vehicle can roll over in an accident. More rollover accidents occur on rural roads than in cities as well.
There are specific measures people can take in order to reduce the risk of rollover involvement and to reduce the likelihood of being seriously injured in the event one occurs. By purchasing new model vehicles, people can take advantage of more up-to-date safety features, such as additional airbags and better traction control systems. People should ensure that their tires are maintained regularly and are wearing evenly. Following the speed limit at all times and wearing safety belts are other important measures. When loading a vehicle, people should avoid either overloading it or placing too much weight on top of the vehicle in a luggage rack, as doing so increases the vehicle’s instability, making it more likely to roll over in the event a collision occurs. Finally, remaining alert and paying attention to weather and traffic conditions can reduce the incidence of being involved in such a wreck.
SUV rollovers can be especially serious, and too many occur each year. When a person is seriously injured or killed in a rollover crash, they or their families may wish to consult with a personal injury attorney.
Source: Consumer Reports, “Rollover 101“, November 24, 2014