Along with head-on-collisions, rollover car accidents are among the most dangerous types of car accidents due to their likelihood to cause serious, potentially fatal injuries to vehicle occupants. Rollover accidents are often also referred to as roof crushing accidents due to the fact that, as vehicles tumble in rollovers, the roofs cave in and are seriously crushed. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), rollover vehicle accidents account for approximately 30 percent – nearly 1 in every 3 – car accident deaths that occur each year in the U.S. Unlike many other types of car accidents, such as rear-end collisions and T-bone accidents, rollovers can occur with or without the presence of another vehicle, and factors such as the vehicle’s design and how heavier vehicles are loaded will play a significantly more important role in causing these accidents (and in establishing liability in them).
Causes of Roof Crushing and Rollover Accidents
The NHTSA reports that nearly 95 percent of all rollover vehicle accidents are caused by a phenomenon known as tripping. Tripping takes place when the vehicle’s momentum is interrupted due to one of its tires hitting something like a bump, a pothole, debris in the road, a small median or a curb. Once the car’s tire strikes a foreign object, the vehicle will likely be jolted sideways; given that the vehicle is still being propelled forwards when it’s jolted sideways, the enduring momentum typically causes the car to continue on its forward path and roll until the car comes to a stop (either due to losing momentum or due to hitting another vehicle or foreign object, such as a traffic median, traffic signal building, etc.).
Additional factors that can cause roof crushing car accidents (or that can contribute to tripping and, consequently, result in rollovers) include (but are not limited to):
- Vehicles being designed with a high center of gravity (Examples of such vehicles that will be more prone to tripping and rollover accidents include sports utility vehicles, pick-up trucks and certain types of minivans.)
- Vehicles being loaded with cargo so that their center of gravity is higher than normal
- Vehicle equipment failure, such as tire blow outs or brake failure
- Dangerous roadway conditions, such as large debris being left in the road
- Failure of other drivers to obey traffic laws (For example, another driver attempting to make a left-hand turn from a right lane in front of a vehicle with a high-center of gravity can cause the second driver to swerve, lose control of his vehicle and roll his vehicle).
At the law firm of Hassakis & Hassakis, P.C., our experienced Mount Vernon car accident lawyers have been providing client-centered representation to our Southern Illinois clients since 1950. Our trusted attorneys focus on our clients’ needs, and we do everything we can to help them get the maximum possible compensation for their injuries so they can focus on recovery and moving on with their life. If you or a loved one has sustained any type of injury due to a roof crushing or rollover car accident, contact us by calling (800)-553-3125 for a free, thorough assessment of your case, along with professional advice regarding the best manner in which to move forward.