Vehicle Rollover accidents account for one third of auto accident fatalities
Statistics show that approximately 10,000 people in the United States die in vehicle rollovers each year. Rollovers constitute only 3 percent of passenger vehicle crashes, but they are the most deadly, accounting for a full 30 percent of the fatalities.
Additionally, about 24,000 people are seriously injured in rollover crashes in the U.S. each year.
Sport Utility Vehicles (SUV) rollovers
Sport Utility Vehicles (SUV’s), and other tall, narrow vehicles are prone to rollover. After a driver makes an avoidance maneuver they should be able to regain control of their vehicle, or, the vehicle should “slide out” on the road without rolling over. A vehicle should never roll over because of friction forces alone, nor should a vehicle ever roll over on dry flat pavement.
Rollovers will occur off the road when the vehicle furrows in soft ground, after contact with other vehicles, or when the vehicle is tripped by obstructions like potholes or curbs.
15-passenger van rollovers
Rollovers with 15-passenger vans are prevalent. These vehicles are inherently unstable and have a high propensity to roll over which increases as more passengers are added. The more passengers you add, the higher likelihood there is of a tire failure on the rear of the van, which could then result in a rollover.
Data for 1991-2000 in the fatal accident reporting system (FARS) of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) indicate about 52 percent of the 15-passenger vans involved in a single-vehicle fatal accident were in a rollover. This compares to 33 percent of passenger automobiles involved in accidents. Additionally, 81 percent of 15-passenger van fatalities are from single-vehicle rollover accidents.
Unfortunately, the tires on these vans ‘float’ and lose traction with the road when weight distribution is uneven over the axles. Therefore, the vehicle does not respond properly to steering input from the driver, causing control and handling problems that often result in rollover accidents.
These 15-passenger vans are often used to transport school children, church groups, and sports teams.
NHTSA research reported in 2001 that 15-passenger vans with 10 or more occupants had a rollover ratio of 85 percent compared with the ratio of 28.3 percent for vans with fewer than five occupants.
Signs of a potential rollover problem
There may be a rollover/stability problem if:
- the vehicle rolls over on the roadway;
- the paved road is smooth and dry; tire marks on the roadway end abruptly;
- and there is no “tripping mechanism” such as a pothole or curb.
Do you have a rollover claim?
If your loved one has suffered a serious injury or death as a result of a vehicle rollover injury, you may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, loss of wages, and pain and suffering.
Please contact our rollover lawyers today by filling out the brief questionnaire, or by calling our toll free number (1-800-898-2034) for a free, no-cost, no-obligation legal evaluation of your case.