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Car rollovers are some of the worst and most terrifying car accidents. After you completely lose control of your vehicle, there is nothing you can do to stop the vehicle from continuing on its path to rolling over. Although these accidents only occur about 3% of the time, they are responsible for 30% of the fatalities resulting from riding in passenger vehicles. Every year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports 280,000 rollover accidents, claiming over 10,000 lives. Here are some things you need to know about rollovers to prevent one from happening to you.
A rollover can happen in any vehicle, but they are especially likely in cars that have a higher center of gravity and are top heavy. SUVs, pickup trucks and vans are the most common vehicles that roll over. This happens when a car loses its stability while turning.
Stability of your vehicle is determined by the relationship between the car’s center of gravity and how much distance there is between front tires on the left side and tires on the right side. The center of gravity can be defined as the point in your car where its mass is the most concentrated. Wherever your car’s weight gathers the most is where its center of gravity lies. For sport utility vehicles, pickup trucks and vans, this weight gathers at the top.
Tripped rollovers: Single-vehicle rollovers are usually not caused by anything you did by steering the vehicle. For a car to rollover on its own it has to trip on something, like a curb, pothole, or soft roadside shoulder. Government issued estimates reveal that 95% of all rollovers are incited by the vehicle tripping on something.
Untripped rollovers: Top heavy vehicles are likely to engage in untripped rollovers, which occur when a driver steers too far in a sudden motion to avoid hitting an object or causing an accident.
These days, cars come with a ton of safety features, particularly those that are more prone to rollovers. Cars keep getting safer and safer, and SUVs have improved the most in recent years. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, rollover driver death rates plummeted from 27 in 2000 to 6 in 2012 for newer vehicles 1-3 years old. Electronic stability control has drastically reduced the occurrence of rollovers. ESC aids in preventing sideways skidding and loss of control and reduces the risk of fatal single-vehicle rollovers by over 70%. Strong roofs are also key in reducing the risk of fatality or incapacitating injury. A strong roof reduces the chances of being ejected from your car during a rollover.
If you’ve experienced a rollover accident in Pennsylvania local car accident lawyers are available to help you file a claim with your insurance company. Call 888-970-2443 for a free consultation.
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