How common are roll-over accidents and what percentage come from over correcting. According to Consumer Reports, although rollovers occur in only about 3 percent of all serious crashes, they account for about 30 percent of people killed while riding in a passenger vehicle.
Given the right circumstances, any vehicle can roll over. However, taller, narrower vehicles such as SUVs, pickups, and vans are more prone than traditional cars are because they have a higher center of gravity and thus are more top-heavy. Sideways forces that develop when a vehicle rounds a curve shifts the center of gravity to one side, which can have a substantial effect on the vehicle’s balance. The lateral forces increase with speed and also with quick changes of direction-such as when a driver makes too sharp a turn one way and then overcorrects the other way. Those transitions can set up a series of events that can lead to the eventual loss of control.
According to the IIHS, the rollover driver-death rate among newer (1 to 3 year old) passenger vehicles dropped from 27 in the year 2000 to 6 in 2012. The newest SUVs have lower rates than the newest cars.In the same period, the number of SUVs on the road increased dramatically, which is why the actual number of deaths hasn’t changed much despite the improved survival rates.
Common sense and routine maintenance can greatly increase your odds of avoiding a rollover and walking away from one if it happens. Here are some survival tips from Consumer Reports:
• Newer is better. The improvement might be because more people are buckling up, or because vehicles have better build quality and safety systems, but it’s probably a result of both. Especially important are electronic stability control and side-curtain air bags.
• Wear safety belts. Belts help keep you in the seat so you are not tossed around in a rollover crash. About half of rollover fatalities occur when people are partly or completely ejected from the vehicle.
• Check the tires. Make sure all the tires are in good shape and properly inflated to the pressure recommended by the vehicle manufacturer. Check the inflation pressure at least once a month.
• Watch your speed. Speed makes a vehicle’s tendencies to roll over more severe, and it also makes more demands on a driver’s attention and skill. About 40 percent of fatal rollovers involve excessive speed, the government reports.
• Beware on country roads. Almost three-quarters of fatal rollovers occur in rural areas on roads where the speed limit is 55 mph or more. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, those roads tended to be undivided highways without barriers.
If you or a loved one has been injured or died as a result of vehicle rollover, you can get experienced help at Brannon & Brannon. Contact us for a free consultation at (850)659-2252 or through our website at brannoncanhelp.com.