Rollover accidents occur less frequently than other types of crashes, but have the potential to be more severe. According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), rollovers account for just 3% of total collisions, but one-third of fatal car accidents.
What is a Rollover Accident?
A rollover is an accident where a vehicle tips onto its side or completely turns over. In some cases, the vehicle may continue to roll several times until it stops. This can occur with any type of vehicle but is more common for SUVs, pickup trucks, vans, or other vehicles with a higher center of gravity.
- Swerving/Sharp Turn: If your vehicle is top-heavy and you make a turn too quickly, it can cause a rollover. This may occur due to swerving to avoid another vehicle or while navigating a curve in the road while traveling at an unsafe speed.
- High-Speed Collision: Many rollovers involve only one vehicle, but a crash with multiple vehicles can cause a rollover if one or both are traveling at a high speed. Side impacts are the most likely to result in a rollover accident.
- Tire Issues: Defective tires can increase the risk of any type of accident. Tire failure can reduce your ability to control your vehicle.
- Weather Conditions: Strong winds, heavy rains, and other dangerous weather conditions can increase the risk of a rollover.
During a rollover, you may sustain injuries as the vehicle rolls due to hitting your body against the interior. This is especially dangerous if you were not wearing a seatbelt. Additionally, rollover accidents can result in ejection from the vehicle, which can result in serious injuries from the impact. Unsecured objects in the vehicle and debris can also cause damage during these types of accidents.
Some of the most common injuries include:
- Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)
- Spinal cord injuries
- Bone fractures
- Internal injuries
- Loss of limb(s)
What to Do If You Are In a Rollover Collision
In many cases, an accident will happen so quickly that you won’t have time to react. However, if you notice your vehicle starting to tip and suspect it will roll, there are some steps you can take. Take your feet off the pedals, cross your arms over your chest, and lean back into your seat. This reduces the risk of some of the most common injuries in rollovers.
If you are able to, turn off your engine immediately after the vehicle has come to a stop. Exercise extreme caution when exiting the vehicle. Look for the safest route and get away from the vehicle, if possible. Your first priority needs to be getting yourself, your passengers, and anyone else involved in the accident proper medical attention. Call 911 to report the accident and get help.
Depending on the severity of your injuries, you may be able to take photos or gather other evidence. Only do this if it is safe. Exchange information with the other driver(s) if possible, but avoid interacting with them beyond this. It’s important to stay calm and avoid making the situation worse.
As soon as possible, contact a car accident lawyer to help you determine the next steps for your case.
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At Grabb & Durando, we’ve been helping Tucson accident victims for over 25 years. We can help you recover damages for lost wages, pain and suffering, and medical care after a car accident.