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Why rollovers occur and how to prevent them

Every year, countless individuals either sustain injures or are killed as a result of their involvement in rollover crashes. Car type greatly impacts a person's risk of a rollover accident.

Sports utility vehicles and pickup trucks carry the highest risk of rollover at 28 and 27 percent respectively. Not too far behind are vans. They account for 22 percent of all rollovers. Passenger cars are only 12 percent likely to be involved in rollover accidents.

There are a number of reasons vehicle rollovers occur. One of the more common instances involves the car's tires losing traction which causes the car's rear to spin or move sideways.

At the same time, any vehicle that is top-heavy and entering a ramp has at least a five percent chance of rolling over. The rate of risk is even higher if the the driver is moving at an increased rate of speed around a curve or is under the influence of alcohol. The driving of a vehicle along a steep slope, such as what is involved in off-roading, also carries with it a significant risk of rollover.

At least 85 percent of rollover crashes involve only a single car. A driver taking proactive measures to drive more safely can greatly reduce the risk. For example, avoiding oversteering to get around problem areas has shown to greatly reduce the incidence rates of rollovers that result from side sliding.

More than 75 percent of these types of accidents occur in rural areas. This is why it's important that drivers in these areas not only stay in their own lane, but are careful in maneuvering curves, especially in the absence of proper shoulders or barriers. Drivers should also heed speed limit signs if for no other reason than speeding is responsible for at least 40 percent of all rollovers.

For those who do become involved in rollovers, wearing a seatbelt has been shown to save 75 percent of lives.

While human factors may greatly impact the rate with which rollovers occur, there are certain auto defects that result in these type of crashes as well. In reviewing the details of your accident with a San Bernardino SUV accident attorney, he or she will be able better understand whether you might be able to recover medical or wrongful death benefits in your particular case.

Source: tamu.edu, "Preventing rollover crashes and injuries," accessed May 19, 2017

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