According to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, pickup trucks, SUVs, and vans have increased in number over the past ten years. While these vehicles serve great purposes for people who need extra passenger room or room to haul items, a concern is that they have a tendency to roll over more often in accidents than other passenger vehicles. Rollover accidents are very dangerous as they tend to cause severe injuries and they are more likely to cause fatalities than other types of motor vehicle accidents.
Most rollover collisions are caused by what experts refer to as ‘tripping.’ Tripping occurs when a driver loses control of his or her vehicle and the vehicle slides sideways until it is “tripped” by something like soft soil, a guardrail, or a tree stump and the vehicle’s momentum causes it to roll. Events and conduct that may play a role in causing a driver to lose control of his or her vehicle prior to tripping include tire malfunctions, aggressive driving, top-heavy vehicles, poor weather conditions, and overcorrecting. ‘Untripped’ rollovers are much less common and those rollovers usually happen when a driver takes a too sharp or a too aggressive turn at an unsafe speed causing the vehicle to roll.
Several factors that are commonly present in rollover accidents are listed and described below:
Speed – Excessive speed is involved in most fatal rollovers and most often those rollovers occur on roads where the speed limit is 55 mph or higher.
Alcohol – Alcohol impairment is often a factor in rollover car accidents.
Single vehicle – Most rollover accidents only involve one motor vehicle.
Rural roads – Rollover accidents more often occur on rural roads than urban roads.
Injuries in rollover accidents are, not surprisingly, often severe and sometimes fatal. Vehicle extraction is common in rollover accidents, especially for passengers who are not wearing seatbelts. See below for a list of some of the most common injuries in rollover accidents: