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What causes cars to roll over?

On Behalf of | Feb 8, 2024 | car accidents, Vehicle Rollovers |

Driving in Minnesota can be hazardous, especially during months when adverse weather conditions can make the roads more dangerous. Staying safe on the roads is of vital importance, and it’s crucial to understand some of the most common risks so that you can take measures to minimize them.

A vehicle rolling over can contribute to some of the deadliest motor vehicle accidents. While it’s not common for this type of accident to occur, certain driving patterns and conditions make it more likely. Being aware of what causes rollover accidents increases your chances of preventing this from happening to you.

Why do vehicles roll over?

At its most basic level, a car accident involving a roll over happens when the force of the tires gripping the road exceeds the vehicle’s momentum. At that point, the tires will cease to rotate, and the vehicle is likely to roll over.

Biggest contributors to vehicles rolling over

The most common factor in vehicle rollovers is speed. The velocity with which a vehicle is traveling has a direct bearing on how likely it is to roll over. Especially dangerous is making turns while traveling at high speeds, as heavy forces are directed through the vehicle at such times. If possible, try to avoid extreme speeds, and be extremely careful when turning while driving fast.

Some types of vehicles are more prone to rolling over. In general, the higher the vehicle’s profile, the more likely it is to roll. Trucks, vans and tractor-trailers exhibit a higher susceptibility to rollovers compared to most passenger vehicles, and SUVs have a slightly elevated risk compared to sedans.

Finally, driving conditions can increase the chances of rolling over. When driving in snow or ice, extra caution is warranted. These sorts of accidents occur in adverse weather conditions due to overcorrecting while steering or hard braking while the vehicle is out of control. If possible, use gradual directional and braking patterns to minimize the risk of rolling over.


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