A rollover accident is one of the worst things that can happen on the road. While vehicles rollover in only 3 percent of all serious crashes, 30 percent of passenger deaths occur because of rollovers. Although most modern vehicles are designed to make it more difficult to rollover during a crash, poorly balanced loads, skidding traction and certain collisions make rollovers possible in any vehicle, especially more top-heavy models like SUVs, pickups and vans.
Because of the severity of their consequences, it is important to do everything we can to prevent these often deadly accidents from happening. When you consider that over 80 percent of rollover crashes are single-car crashes, it is usually within our control to prevent them. The following tips will help you keep your family safe and better prevent the likelihood of a rollover accident.
- Make sure your vehicle is up-to-date on safety regulations. Every year, new technologies are developed to help prevent cars from rolling over or increase the safety of the passengers in the event that a crash happens. With all of these updates, it is important to make sure that older vehicles live up to today’s changing safety standards. In particular, check that you car has the minimum recommended Electronic Stability Control specs, as this is key to preventing rollover accidents.
- Check your tires often. Tire maintenance helps prevent rollover crashes, as improperly and worn tires impede your ability to keep control of the vehicle.
- Only replace your tires with types almost identical to the original equipment on the vehicle. Often when we change our tires, we are tempted to upgrade to “performance tires.” Unfortunately, these can sometimes have more lateral grip than the original tires, which can increase the chance of rollover in an emergency maneuver.
- Never overload your vehicle. When the weight of a vehicle increases, its stability decreases. This is even more dangerous with SUVs and pickups that are already at a higher risk of rolling over. It’s important to stay within the load ratings of the manufacturer and to always place the heaviest cargo as low to the floor and close to the center as possible.
- Don’t speed. At higher speeds, the potential for rolling over during a crash increases. In fact, about 40 percent of fatal rollover accidents involve excessive speeding.
- Avoid distractions while you are driving. If you get into an accident, you will need your full concentration in order to maintain control of the vehicle and avoid a rollover. This is impossible if your attention is elsewhere.
- Take corners carefully. When people speed around a bend, the risk even further unbalancing a tipping vehicle.
- Be extra cautious on rural highways. Almost three-fourths of all fatal rollover accidents occur in rural areas on roads with a speed limit above 55 mph. These tend to be undivided highways without barriers.
- Don’t panic or overcompensate when steering. When people panic over a close call, they often overcorrect. This kind of steering can easily cause you to lose control and have a rollover accident when you are driving at highway speeds.
- Never drink and drive. Almost half of all rollover accidents are caused by someone who is under the influence of alcohol. You need your full faculties to prevent these accidents from happening.
If you carefully heed this advice, you are much less likely to ever experience a rollover crash. Unfortunately, some such crashes are not our faults, and often these are some of the worse types of rollover accidents. Our car accident attorneys serve clients throughout the Chicago area, including Aurora, Elgin, Hinsdale, Joliet, Naperville, and Waukegan. If you or a family member is injured in a rollover accident caused by someone else’s recklessness, you may deserve compensation. Call Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. today at (312) 236-2900 for a free consultation with one of our attorneys on your particular case to find out how we can help.