Archive for the ‘Rollover Accidents’ Category

Deadly Rollover Accidents

Monday, August 6th, 2012

Rollover accidents are definitely among the most deadly of all vehicle accidents, although rollovers are relatively rare. Most rollovers are single car accidents and while any vehicle certainly has the capacity to roll over, it is much more common among vehicles with a high center of gravity. Between three and four percent of car accidents involve a rollover, yet a third of all vehicles which rollover will have at least one fatality. Rollover accidents are centered around how stable a vehicle is during a turn. The distance between the left and right wheels is known as the track width and the relationship between this distance and the vehicle’s center of gravity determines overall stability. Four-wheel drive pickups and sport utility vehicles which sit up high have a much greater chance of a rollover accident since they have much higher ground clearance for off-road driving.

When Rollover Accidents Occur

The majority of rollover accidents are single-vehicle accidents which occur at night on Saturdays and Sundays. Most of the drivers are male, under the age of twenty-five, and drinking alcohol. A full seventy-five percent of rollover fatalities result in the victims being ejected from the vehicle which suggests they were not wearing a safety belt. Although pressure is building for the government to subject cars and trucks to federal rollover standards there are none in place at present. The NHTSA did implement a rollover rating system in 2001. This system consists of a simple five-star system in which an engineering analysis is used to base the rating. Vehicles who receive five stars have a rollover risk of less than ten percent while those vehicles which only receive one star have over a 40 percent increased risk of rollover.

SUV Rollover

SUVs are famous for rollover accidents; rollovers are nearly three times as likely among SUVs than in traditional passenger vehicle. SUV’s are top heavy and more likely in a one-vehicle accident to tip over and roll. Many rollover accidents happen when the driver jerks the wheel sharply to avoid a road hazard or animal or when the driver takes a curve too fast. In some instances even a relatively minor turn of the wheel can result in a rollover. Rollover rates are highest in Ford Explorers followed by three Jeep products—the CJ, Wrangler and the Cherokee. Ford has endured over five hundred lawsuits regarding the Explorer as there are specific defects in the overall design which causes it to tip.

Fifteen Passenger Vans and Likelihood of Rollover

Fifteen passenger vans are popular with schools, churches, community groups and shuttle services but pose a grave threat of rollover when they are heavily loaded. In fact, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has issued a consumer advisory regarding these vans nearly every year. While these vans are very convenient, the NHTSA cautions that tire condition should be routinely checked, passengers should always wear safety restraints, drivers should have experience and training and no loads are placed on top of the vehicle. As the number of passengers increase in these vans, the rollover risk also increases. Most of those who died in fifteen passenger rollovers were not buckled up; wearing safety restraints greatly increases the chance of survival in such an accident.

The Complexities of Rollover Accidents

Rollover accidents can be very complicated when they reach the litigation stage for those who are involved in such an accident should choose the most experienced attorney who will identify the multiple defendants and ensure victims receive compensation for all medical expenses, damages and lost wages. Your case will be carefully investigated and if necessary accident reconstruction experts, highway safety specialists, engineers and other professionals will be included in the case.

 

Rollover Accidents Which Result in Fatalities or Serious Injury in Mississippi

Tuesday, August 9th, 2011

Any vehicle which has a higher center of gravity is much more vulnerable to a rollover when involved in a one-vehicle crash. To some extent the type of vehicle comes into play, and SUV’s and pickup trucks will often ride higher off the ground than passenger cars. Even those vehicles which are considered to be “five-star”—meaning they have garnered the very highest safety rating available as a result of rigorous testing—still have a much greater risk of a rollover when involved in a crash involving a single vehicle. It is theorized that sports cars which have a five-star vehicle rating may have a greater number of rollover accidents than other vehicles which garnered only three stars or less because of the more aggressive level of driving among many sports car owners.

Common Causes of Rollover Accidents in Mississippi

Nearly 95% of the time a rollover accident is caused by the vehicle striking something close to the ground, such as a curb or slight ditch, which then causes the car to tip. More than any other type of automobile crash, a rollover involves a complex interaction of the specific behaviors of the driver, the road conditions at the time, and other environmental factors. Vehicle type, as mentioned, is also a factor as the higher, thinner vehicles will be much more likely to roll over when involved in a one-car accident. While speed is certainly a factor, it is more often a factor in those rollovers which result in a fatality, with over forty percent of rollover crashes which result in death involving excessive speed. Almost 75% of all fatal rollovers occur in places where the recommended speed limit is 55mph or above.

Alcohol and other Factor in Rollover Accidents in Mississippi

It is estimated that over fifty percent of all rollover crashes which result in death involve alcohol. Even if the driver was not technically over the legal limit, alcohol is well known to negatively impact a driver’s judgment, dexterity and vision, meaning losing control of the vehicle is much more likely. Rural areas are more often the landscape of rollover accidents, as rural roads are more likely to have lanes which are not divided and have no barriers. Although negotiating curves is certainly a factor in rollovers, driver distraction, inattentiveness or excessive speeds are also contributors. Rollover accidents are by and large single-vehicle crashes, meaning there is no other vehicle involved in the accident. This lends credence to the theory that driver conduct is of great significance in rollover crashes.

How Your Vehicle Offers Protection during a Rollover

When a rollover is detected by a newer-model vehicle, the side-impact air bags are activated, along with the normal safety belt retractors which take up the slack from the seat belt, holding you firmly in your seat. If your vehicle possesses a rollover sensing system, it is, in some cases, able to detect an impending rollover even while the angle is small and none of the tires have yet left the ground.  Side airbags remain inflated longer than those in the front in order to protect the occupant’s heads during a rollover, while keeping the occupants from being thrown from the vehicle. Ejection from the vehicle is what normally causes fatalities, so a vehicle which possesses side-impact airbags offers you a much better chance of survival. If you drive an older vehicle or one which is not so well-equipped, you are more likely to be injured or killed in such an accident.

The Aftermath of a Rollover Accident in Mississippi

Victims of rollover accidents are often left with pain and severe injuries which can be extremely hard to cope with. There may be long-term medical consequences which result in continuing doctor, hospital or therapist bills. A skilled personal injury attorney who is knowledgeable about the ins and outs of rollover accidents can navigate the insurance process for you, allowing you to focus on healing your injuries while he or she negotiates a settlement to compensate you for any possible negligence by the maker of your automobile. Rollover victims are likely to suffer injuries to the head, legs, knees, neck and spine—injuries which occur when the roof of the car hits the road. Don’t go through this painful time alone—rather allow an experienced personal injury attorney to help you through the process.

At Barrett Law, PLLC, a dedicated Mississippi auto accident lawyer from our law firm is committed to representing Mississippi car accident victims with the compassion and personal attention that has allowed our law firm to develop a leading reputation throughout Mississippi.  We have been helping Mississippi car accident victims across Mississippi for over 75 years so call Barrett Law, PLLC today at (662) 834-2376.