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Rollovers: Causes and Effects - Jones Law Group

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An Accident On The Road. A Close-up Of A Passenger Car Overturned

Rollovers: Causes and Effects

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that only 2% of crashes result in a rollover. Rollovers occur when a vehicle tips on its side or roof as a result of a crash. While rollover accidents can involve one or more vehicles, they are most common in single-car accidents and can often result in severe injuries.

What Causes a Rollover?

There are two main types of rollovers: tripped and un-tripped. A tripped rollover occurs when a vehicle veers off the road, sliding sideways. This can cause the tires of a vehicle to hit a guard rail or dig into the soft shoulder, which can ‘trip’ the car.

These trips can result in the vehicle typing over and rolling. Soft soil, deep potholes, steep slopes, and guard rails present the most common causes for a tripped rollover crash. According to government reports, it is estimated that 95% of all rollovers are caused by trips.

Un-tripped rollovers occur in top-heavy vehicles or vehicles with higher centers of gravity. Rollovers can occur when the vehicle is maneuvering to avoid a collision or while traveling at a high speed.

What Vehicles Are More Susceptible to Rolling Over?

A vehicle’s center of gravity is the point where the sum of all of its masses effectively acts. Essentially, this point acts as the place in which the vehicle carries its entire weight. A lower center of gravity is considered better for handling, and it reduces the weight transfer during maneuvers, significantly decreasing a vehicle’s tendency to roll over.

Additionally, according to the National Center for Statistics and Analysis, in an examination of rollover crash mechanisms and occupant outcomes, it was found that vans, pickups, and sports utility vehicles make up 66% of quarter rollovers.

What Types of Injuries Can Rollover Crashes Cause?

The most severe injuries are typically caused by the driver or passenger being shaken or thrown from the car. During a rollover, a person may experience whiplash, slipped discs, and even nerve damage.

According to the National Automotive Sampling System Database, the most common areas of impact are the head, neck, abdomen, and limbs. Often, victims of these crashes sustain multiple types of injuries. Below are the most common.

Cuts, Scrapes, and Bruises

Car accidents, including rollovers, involved a great deal of force which can shake an individual violently. This movement can lead to contusions (bruises) or abrasions (scrapes) on your neck, chest, back, or abdomen. Cuts, scrapes, and bruises are the most common types of injuries that occur during a car accident; however, most of these injuries are not fatal.

Broken Bones

Broken Bones can easily occur in a rollover crash and can leave an individual in severe pain. Swelling, reduced mobility of the affected joint, and a deformity of the limb can increase the amount of pain associated with a broken bone.

Spinal Cord Injuries

The spine is especially vulnerable during rollover crashes. The symptoms of a spinal cord injury depend on the severity of the injury and the location of the injury on the spinal cord. Symptoms may include partial or complete loss of sensory function or motor control of arms, legs, or body.

Traumatic Brain Injuries

Similar to the spine, the brain is also vulnerable to injury during a rollover crash. Traumatic brain injuries can have an impact on attention, memory, language, and problem-solving.

Research by the National Highway Safety and Traffic Administration shows that the level of severity in a rollover crash is determined by three key factors: seatbelt use, number of roof impacts, and number of vehicles involved in the accident.

The Severity of Injuries Caused by Rollovers

Most rollover fatalities occur because a driver or passenger without seatbelts engaged is more at risk of being thrown from the vehicle or tossed around, causing severe injuries that could result in death. Additionally, the collapse of a roof can lead to severe injury as it can become another impact point for one’s body to collide with.

Contact a Car Accident Lawyer at Jones Law Group

At Jones Law Firm, we understand that rollover crashes can have serious effects. If you or a loved one have been the victim of a rollover crash contact an experienced Jones Law Group attorney.

When you contact our office, we will immediately set an appointment where you will meet your attorney. They will evaluate your case for free. You will never pay us a dime unless we recover compensation for your injuries. Schedule a free consultation by calling (727) 571-1333 or by contacting us online.

Heath Murphy

About the Author

Heath Murphy is a partner at Jones Law Group and focuses on personal injury law. He has been working as a lawyer for 18 years and routinely writes about auto accidents, wrongful death, and personal injury laws.

Read more: Heath’s Bio