The Common Causes of Rollover Accidents

A vehicle that has encountered a rollover accident. An ambulance is seen in the background.One of the deadliest risks facing motorists on the road everyday is rollover accidents. These accidents are particularly violent types of car crashes, with unrestrained passengers receiving multiple forces and impacts that often result in serious trauma or death.

According to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), rollover accidents claim an average of about 9,500 lives every year in the United States, about a quarter of all road fatalities.

What Causes Rollover Accidents 

  • High center of gravity - Looking through the same data from the NHTSA, one would notice the higher percentage of fatalities in rollover accidents involving SUVs, vans, and pickup trucks compared to passenger cars. For the year 2,000, for instance, only about 15% of passenger car crashes resulted in rollover accidents. For comparison, the figures were 36% for SUVs, 18.5% for pick-up trucks, and 18.8% for vans. The higher percentages of rollovers, especially among SUVs, are attributed to the vehicles’ high center of gravity, making them more prone to rollover accidents. Incidentally, many SUVs also tend to carry heavy loads, making them even more susceptible to this type of vehicle accident. 
  • Drunk driving – The NHTSA also notes that in year 2000, 37% of drivers involved in fatal rollover accidents had blood alcohol levels that indicated they were intoxicated. Alcohol consumption is also a primary cause of rollover accidents.
  • Day and Time – Most fatal rollover accidents happen during the weekends, from Friday through Sunday. Time also plays a factor, with about 79 percent of crashes occurring between 6pm and 6am. Researchers believe this is because the weekend part hours offer a lot of distractions for drivers, with alcohol consumption again being one of these.
  • Speed – Fatal rollovers are reported to be related to speed much more frequently than other kinds of crashes. The NHTSA notes that in 2000, 40% of fatal rollover crashes were reported to have been speed related. Compare this to only 15% in fatal non-rollover crash accidents. The propensity to rollover was also high among SUVs and vans, especially where posted speed limits were over 55 miles per hour.
  • Road conditions – 60% of fatal rollovers occur in rural roads, even though they only account for about 40% of vehicle miles traveled. One factor could be speed, since rural roads are more conducive to opportunities for speeding compared to urban roads. Other factors that can cause rollover accidents are poor road conditions, which include lack of warning signs, pavement defects, and inadequate road maintenance. Weather conditions and other people’s road behaviors can also cause accidents.
  • Tire blowouts – Tire blowouts and other types of tire failures can cause the driver to lose control of the vehicle. Tire blowouts can be caused by underinflation, overloading of the vehicle, poor road conditions, and tire damage over the long run.

If you have experienced a rollover accident in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, please call Euless Wrecker immediately at 817-857-6344.