Michigan Attorneys Discuss Common Factors in Rollover Accidents
Rollover accidents often come by surprise and can result in severe, life-threatening injuries to all vehicle occupants.
Due to their tall structure and high center of gravity, SUVs are the most vulnerable to being tipped over. In recent years, they have become more popular in Michigan, as many drivers are attracted to their sporty appeal, larger size, and advanced safety features. Additionally, this trend has been influenced by lower gas prices.
Vehicles most vulnerable to rollovers
Many new SUVs come standard with electronic stability control, which can help prevent them from rolling over. However, Cheat Sheet has identified 10 vehicles (some of which include pickup trucks), that when tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, demonstrated the highest risks of rolling over. These include:
- Chevrolet Colorado
- Cadillac Escalade
- Chevrolet Tahoe
- GMC Yukon
- Jeep Renegade
- Ford F-250
- Ram 2500
- Toyota 4Runner
- Jeep Wrangler Unlimited 4WD
- Nissan NV3500
Data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Highway Loss Data Institute (IIHS, HLDI), shows that in 2016, about 47 percent of traffic fatalities involving SUV occupants were caused by rollovers. Pickup trucks were nearly as vulnerable, with about 43 percent of fatalities involving rollovers. For occupants of smaller passenger cars, the figure was only 22 percent.
How rollovers occur
While rollover accidents are often attributed to the design of SUVs, any vehicle can be affected. Rollovers commonly happen while a vehicle is sliding sideways or spinning out of control. While in motion, a vehicle may be tipped over by a curb, guard rail, tree stump, or debris in the road. Other factors include:
- Too much weight in a vehicle from passengers or cargo
- Weight being unevenly distributed
- Mechanical failures such as a loose wheel, tire blowout, brake failure, or steering wheel failure
- Excessive swerving or steering overcorrection
- Driving too fast around a curve or turn
- Slippery road conditions
- Driving on uneven surfaces
Why rollovers are so dangerous
Even at a low speed, a rollover can result in occupants being trapped inside a vehicle. However, at high speeds, they can be devastating and even fatal. Occupants can be flung or ejected or crushed inside a vehicle. Common injuries include:
- Broken bones
- Severe head and neck injuries
- Severed limbs
- Torso damage
- Internal organ damage
- Spinal injuries
Who can be found negligent in a rollover accident?
Determining who’s responsible in a rollover accident isn’t easy. In many cases, the vehicle manufacturer is the primary culprit because of a vehicle’s design. Other responsible parties can include:
- Another driver: Rollovers can happen when a negligent driver cuts you off or almost causes an accident, forcing you to swerve out of the way. They can also be caused by side-impact accidents, lane-departure accidents, head-on collisions, and sideswipes.
- The driver of the vehicle: If you were a passenger in a vehicle that rolled over, the driver may be responsible. Perhaps he or she was driving aggressively, impaired, or too fast for conditions.
If you have been injured in a rollover accident, it’s crucial that you speak to a Macomb County auto accident attorney as soon as possible. The experienced legal team at Fraser & Souweidane, P.C. can explore all avenues when investigating your crash. We can find out who was responsible and fight to hold them accountable. Contact us today to find out what we can do for you.