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Preventing injury from rollover crashes

When a California resident is involved in a rollover collision, the resulting injuries can be extremely serious. Rollovers account for 30 percent of all fatal crashes even though they account for only 3 percent of all accidents. Surprisingly, the federal government does not have any regulations in place to regulate manufacturers regarding rollover safety.

Certain types of vehicles are more susceptible to rolling over in a collision. Vehicles such as vans, SUVs and trucks have a higher center of gravity and thus are more susceptible to such accidents. Additionally, when people overload their luggage racks on top of their vehicles, the uneven weight distribution can make a vehicle more unstable, resulting in its rolling over. When people are purchasing a different motor vehicle, they should consider purchasing a newer model with improved safety features in order to help lessen the likelihood of injury.

Tires that are worn unevenly or that are in poor shape can cause a rollover, as can tires that have too much grip. Tires should be maintained and kept in good shape. People should always use their safety belts and take extra precautions on rural two-lane highways. Additionally, it is important to follow posted speed limits and pay attention to weather and road conditions.

Although rollover crashes cannot be entirely prevented, people can take steps to reduce their risk of occurrence or the risk of serious personal injury in the event a rollover does occur. Rollovers have a higher probability of being fatal accidents. When such an accident results from a driver's negligence, people with serious injuries or the families of those killed may consider filing civil lawsuits against the negligent driver. People in such situations may wish to consult with a personal injury attorney regarding available claims and potential damages.

Source: Consumer Reports, "Rollover 101", November 21, 2014

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