Unlike head-on and rear-end collisions where there is plenty of “car” separating you from the other vehicle or object, there is only the roof structure to keep the car occupant area intact in a rollover crash. In addition, the seat and shoulder belt is less effective at injury prevention in rollovers because of the complex tumbling motion. For these reasons, rollover accidents have a high fatality rate compared to other accident types. However, rollover accidents are avoidable. Here are five suggestions on their prevention:
- Buy a vehicle with a low center of gravity. This suggests favoring sedans over SUVs, pickups, and vans. Vehicles that are low and wide are more difficult to tip over than tall and thin vehicles. However, if a sedan slides into a curb at a high speed, it will “trip” on the curb and roll. Rollovers with sedans can also happen when going down a steep embankment.
- Buy a new vehicle. If you prefer an SUV, the newer models are better designed and use electronic stability control systems. Their tires are also designed to provide just the right amount of road grip without causing a rollover. Too much grip can cause a rollover when turning sharply at a high speed. This is why you should always use the same type of tires that came with the SUV. Tires with extra grip can also “trip” the SUV into a rollover.
- Maintain the tires. Keep the tires in good shape by maintaining the recommended tire pressure. Under inflated tires in hot weather can cause a blowout that may result in a rollover. Make sure that the tires on the right and left sides have the same pressure. A pressure imbalance between the right and left tires will cause the vehicle to lean more when making turns.
- Slow down when turning. Rounding corners and curves too quickly will cause your vehicle to skid until the wheels trip on a curb or other low object.
- Steer gently at high speeds. Never make hard steering maneuvers at high speeds. Everyone knows it’s impossible to make a hard 90 degree turn at 65 mph. Yet that is exactly what you are “asking” your vehicle to do when yanking hard on the steering wheel to swerve. Always turn smoothly and gently.
If another driver’s actions injured you in a car crash, the lawyers at Hogan Injury can help. Contact us for a free consultation.