Not every car accident is equal. Some are more severe than others. Many of the most severe happen at high speeds and often involve other factors that exacerbate the injuries that you can suffer in the crash.
One of these factors that can make a car accident even more severe is whether your vehicle rolls over or not. Auto accidents that cause your vehicle to flip onto its side, roof, or flip over once or multiple times are called rollover accidents. While rollover accidents are rare when compared to head-on, rear-end, or side-impact crashes, they are far more dangerous, leading to more severe injuries and fatalities than many other types of crashes. The increased severity of rollover accidents often makes having a personal injury attorney from the Philadelphia law office of Gilman & Bedigian even more crucial.
Dangers of Rollover Accidents
The increased dangers of a rollover accident often come from the high speeds that tend to cause them, along with the rollover, itself.
According to figures by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), nearly 75% of fatal rollover accidents happened on roads that had speed limits of 55 miles per hour or higher. Additionally, 40% of fatal rollover crashes involved excessive speeding. These high-speed accidents involve a collision with more force, which increases the chances of suffering a significant injury.
However, whenever a car rolls over or flips, the driver and any passengers inside can be thrown around the inside of the vehicle, especially if they were not wearing their seat belts. This can result in numerous injuries, particularly to your extremities and head. Unrestrained objects inside the vehicle can also fly around in a rollover accident, making the situation even worse.
Finally, a car that rolls over has a chance of coming to a rest on its roof. If the vehicle's roll cage or roof pillars give way, the weight of the car can collapse downwards, resulting in more injuries, particularly to your back, neck, and head.
These dangers can make rollover accidents fatal – every year, more than 10,000 people are killed in rollover crashes.
Causes of Rollover Accidents
There are two different kinds of rollover accidents: Tripped and untripped.
A tripped rollover happens when something outside the vehicle creates the crash. This can be another car hitting it, a curb, guardrail or other object tipping it over, or the vehicle going off the side of the road and tipping.
An untripped rollover happens when a car rolls over without another object touching it. The most common type of an untripped rollover is when a car is going too fast into a turn and the road is slick – the forward momentum of the vehicle overtakes it on the turn, causing it to roll over.
One of the biggest factors that can contribute to whether a car will roll over or not is what type of vehicle it is. Trucks and tall cars, like vans or SUVs, have a higher center of gravity that makes them more susceptible to rolling over. This is because these vehicles have more weight further away from the road. This additional weight pulls the car to the ground once it starts to tip.
How to Prevent a Rollover Accident
There are several measures that you can take to minimize the chances of being involved in a rollover accident or any injuries that you suffer.
First and foremost, buckling up is the best way to prevent a rollover accident from getting even more serious. Unrestrained drivers and passengers in vehicles that are rolling over are far more likely to get ejected than those that are wearing their seatbelts. These ejections can be fatal: By wearing your seatbelt, you are 75% less likely to be killed in a rollover accident.
Your vehicle choice also impacts how easily your car can roll over. Driving a vehicle that is wide and low to the ground decreases the chances of it rolling.
Finally, practice safe driving habits can prevent rollovers, as well. By not driving while distracted, under the influence, or at high speeds, you can minimize the chances of being in a rollover accident.
Rollover Accident Attorneys in Philadelphia
If you do get into a car accident that causes your vehicle to rollover, having an attorney by your side can make a huge difference in whether you get the compensation you need to make a full recovery.
If you or someone you love has been hurt in a rollover accident in or near Philadelphia, contact the attorneys at Gilman & Bedigian online or at (800) 529-6162.