A rollover accident occurs when a vehicle undergoes such a violent collision with another vehicle or stationary object that it actually flips over, sometimes several times. As you might expect, the degree of force that causes a vehicle to rollover is enormous, and goes far beyond a normal fender-bender. Even when wearing seatbelts, passengers may be tossed around within the car and suffer serious injuries. Such a collision is often caused by a “perfect storm” of factors.
How Rollover Accidents Happen
A rollover accident can happen to anyone, but the risk of a rollover accident can be increased if certain factors are present. For example:
- Speed is often a factor. In 40% of fatal rollover crashes, at least one of the vehicles was driving over the speed limit. When a driver operates a vehicle at excessive speed, it increases the force of a potential collision, making the vehicle far more likely to rollover.
- As with other types of crashes, rollover accidents are often caused by impaired drivers. Nearly half of all fatal rollover crashes involve alcohol. Intoxicated drivers have reduced speed in reflexes, coordination, and judgment, making it harder to avoid a road hazard. They are also more likely to ignore traffic signals. Drunk drivers put themselves at risk for rollover accidents, but they also risk the lives of their passengers and others sharing the road.
- Location plays a role. More rollover accidents take place on rural roads with no barriers, or without clear lane divisions. The reason is clear: When drivers are mistaken about the direction of their lane, they may collide full-force with an unexpected obstacle. The speed limit may be high, making a collision all the more catastrophic.
- The type of vehicle can also make a difference. Taller, narrower vehicles, especially those that are relatively heavy–like trucks or SUVs–are more vulnerable to rollover accidents. That’s because the vehicle’s center of mass is higher off the ground, so it can rollover much more easily. Once the vehicle has been knocked off balance, the higher mass causes the vehicle to roll with increased momentum, in turn causing greater damage to drivers, passengers, and the vehicle itself.
- Driver behavior. Distracted driving is sometimes the culprit; when a driver’s eyes are on a phone screen rather than the road, for example, he or she can’t see and react to traffic conditions or road hazards.
How an Experienced Lawyer Can Help
Unfortunately, rollover accidents often have dire consequences. If you have been involved in a rollover accident, you may be suffering from serious injuries, and the expensive medical bills associated with those injuries. If this is the case, you should contact an experienced auto accident lawyer as soon as possible. At Jacobs Law LLC, we take a personalized approach to each case we take on. We will investigate the accident to uncover exactly how the rollover occurred, and who is responsible. Our attorneys have more than 50 years of experience helping clients throughout the state of Indiana to recover fair compensation. If you or a loved one has been injured in a rollover accident, contact us and schedule a free consultation. You will pay no fees unless we are successful in recovering compensation for you.