While rollover accidents can be single vehicle crashes, many are caused in multi-car pile-ups in which victims suffer life-altering injuries or die.

Common Causes of Rollover Crashes

While any type of car accident is serious, a rollover wreck can be more violent and a major cause of fatality. These accidents occur when a vehicle—often a sports utility vehicle (SUV), truck, pick-up truck, mini-van, or van—flips onto its side or top. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), rollovers accounted for two percent of crashes in 2014, but 30 percent of all fatalities were the result of a rollover crash—with 6,863 victims being killed.  Other victims suffer life-altering injuries like traumatic brain injury, spinal injuries, serious fractures, amputation, or internal bleeding.

Main Reasons Rollover Vehicle Wrecks Occur

Vehicles like SUVs, trucks, and other larger vehicles are more likely to be involved in a rollover crash because they are top-heavy, and their center of gravity is higher. This makes them less stable than smaller vehicles. These accidents occur when the driver has to suddenly jerk the wheel or hits something like a curb, median, or guardrail—often at a high speed. While many of these accidents involve a single vehicle, multi-car crashes also result in rollovers, especially when vehicles are hit from the side. Common causes of these accidents include:

  • Weather. Rain and ice can make roads slippery, and fog can significantly reduce visibility. These conditions can cause a driver to smash into another car and set off a chain reaction multi-car crash with numerous vehicles being hit on the side and some rolling over.
  • Speed. The danger of rollover accidents and deadly multi-vehicle crashes is greatest when drivers are going faster than 55 miles per hour—especially at excessive speeds on the highways.
  • Distracted driving. Drivers engaged in distracted driving, like texting, talking on a cellphone, or eating or drinking take their eyes, hands, and minds off their driving. In a split second, they could miss a sudden stop they need to make or other quick reaction and cause the beginning of a multiple car wreck or slam into the vehicle on the side of them.
  • Drowsy driving. When a driver is drowsy, he can easily veer into another lane and the side of another vehicle, causing it to roll over or crash into another vehicle, or not realize the vehicle in front of him has slowed down or stopped, starting a domino effect and rollovers.
  • Alcohol. Many rollovers are caused by the negligent driver being under the influence of alcohol. Alcohol consumption causes a driver’s alertness and reaction times to be significantly diminished and can cause him to not even realize he is driving the wrong way on a ramp to the highway or on a one-way street—resulting in victims suffering catastrophic injuries or death.
  • Rural roads. Rollover accidents frequently happen on rural roads where the speed limit is at least 55 miles per hour and there are no barriers or medians.

Were you or a family member hurt in a rollover accident? These cases can be complicated, especially if you were involved in a multi-car accident where more than one person could be at fault and many people are seeking compensation from the same insurance companies. An experienced car accident attorney can help you obtain the compensation you deserve. Call us today at 800.636.3676 to schedule a free consultation.