A rollover accident can lead to serious injury or death of the driver and any passengers involved. The type of vehicle you are driving and whether that vehicle was properly manufactured to safety standards is just one factor in determining the likelihood of a rollover. Speed, alcohol, whether the road being traveled is a rural road and whether the road is commonly traveled by the driver all impact the possibility of a Tennessee car accident resulting from a vehicle rolling over.
Two Common Causes of Tennessee Rollovers
An overwhelming majority, 85 percent, of fatal vehicle rollovers are single-car crashes according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. The actions were taken by the driver as well as the type of vehicle being driven play a key role in whether a vehicle will roll.
A tripped rollover is the most common type of rollover, accounting for 95 percent of all rollovers, according to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA). This type of motor vehicle accident happens when part or all of the vehicle’s tires slide off the hard surface of the road and on to soft dirt, hitting a curb or guardrail. As the tires sink into the softer dirt, the curb or guardrail acts as a trip wire, causing the vehicle to tip over and roll. A tripped rollover usually ends with the vehicle on its side or roof.
Un-tripped rollovers account for only about 5 percent of the total amount of rollover accidents. Most un-tripped rollovers happen in top-heavy motor vehicles. Rather than a guardrail or cub serving as a trip wire, the weight of the vehicle itself causes it to roll over. Many un-tripped rollovers are traceable to a driver traveling at too fast a speed for the conditions. The driver might take a curve at a high rate of speed or may attempt a quick evasive maneuver to avoid a crash, but the high weight center of the vehicle causes it to tip and roll from the sudden movement.
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Results of a Rollover: Injury and Possibly Death
When a vehicle rolls over, the driver and any passengers inside are thrown about the cabin of the vehicle. Many people are actually ejected out of the vehicle during a rollover. Tragically, about half of those who are ejected from a rolled vehicle do not survive. For those who do, many are seriously injured.
Roof strength is paramount in rollover accidents. If the vehicle’s roof was not built to withstand the force of a rollover, yet was likely to roll over based on the way it was manufactured, an auto defect attorney can investigate whether the automaker should be responsible for injuries caused by a crushed roof.
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NHTSA-Required Modifications of Rollover-Prone Vehicles
The NHTSA expects that within two years, automakers will manufacture their vehicles with larger curtain airbags. Deployment of the airbags during serious accidents will be more frequent. This will help protect drivers and passengers better. It is estimated that 373 lives will be saved and it will contribute to there being 476 less serious injuries.
Every year, approximately 10 thousand people have been ejected from their vehicles during rollover crashes. These statistics go back a full decade. Rollovers are the deadliest. If you’ve been injured in a vehicle rollover, an experienced Memphis auto defects attorney can help you discover whether the way your car was made created a higher likelihood of rolling and hold the automaker accountable.