Car Accident Attorneys in Charleston Protecting the Rights of Victims
While every car accident is capable of causing injury, rollover accidents are a particularly dangerous type of crash. As the name implies, in a rollover accident, a vehicle leaves its tires and rolls over onto its side or roof. Rollovers are exactly as dangerous as they sound, as once a vehicle rolls, the driver is unable to control the vehicle, putting everyone in the vicinity at risk. In many cases, these kinds of accidents result in serious, life-changing injuries, including broken bones, brain injuries, serious soft tissue injuries, and even spinal cord injuries.
Cars and trucks can roll over for a number of reasons, including driver error and vehicle defects. For victims, what is important is that when rollovers occur because of negligence, people who are hurt are typically entitled to compensation. To learn whether you can recover damages for your rollover accident, call us today at (843) 881-8644 or send us an email through our online contact form.
Here are some sobering statistics provided by the National Highway and Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA) regarding rollover accidents:
- Rollovers make up a full third of U.S. traffic fatalities each year.
- There are more than 10,000 rollover-related fatalities every year.
- Taller, narrower vehicles like minivans, pickups, and some SUVs—because they have higher centers of gravity—are those vehicles that are most likely to roll over in single-vehicle rollover accidents.
- Wearing a seatbelt decreases your risk of dying in a rollover accident by 75 percent.
- Observing the speed limit, accommodating road conditions, and not driving while impaired all reduce your risk of being involved in a rollover accident.
Overcorrection Often Leads to Rollover Accidents
The NHTSA reports that many rollover accidents happen when drivers overcorrect in driving emergencies. It’s not, however, surprising that a driving emergency would elicit a panicked response. Further, saying don’t panic and not panicking are two very different things. In fact, something as seemingly mundane as your car’s tires drifting onto the shoulder of the road can result in a rollover accident—especially if you attempt to overcorrect for your driving error by jerking your steering wheel to get you back on track. Traveling at highway speeds—and beyond—exacerbates the problem and makes it more likely that you’ll lose control of your vehicle while engaged in an overcorrection.
Rollovers happen, and the NHTSA has determined that they—more so than other kinds of accidents—are closely associated with the interplay between the driver, the vehicle involved, the road and its condition, and the environment. When these elements align negatively, a rollover can be the result. Further, the NHTSA shares several causative factors:
- Speeding. High speeds are more closely associated with rollover-related fatalities than with any other kind of traffic fatality. Nearly 40 percent of all fatal rollovers involve speeding, and almost 75 percent occur on roadways with a posted speed limit of at least 55 miles per hour. Speed kills.
- Country roads. Somewhat surprisingly, rural roads see more than their fair share of fatal rollover accidents. This is most likely attributable to the fact that rural roads have fewer safety mechanisms in place—they’re often undivided and lack the guardrails afforded more heavily trafficked highways and interstates.
- Impaired drivers. While there’s not a driver among us who doesn’t know that driving under the influence of alcohol is exceedingly dangerous, many drivers continue to imbibe. Nearly half of all rollover-related fatalities involve alcohol. Even minimal consumption of alcohol can impair a driver’s vision, coordination, and good judgment—all of which render a driver less safe. Alcohol leaves you less well able to control your car, which plays a critical role in rollover accidents.
- Tire condition. Your tires connect you to the road, and properly maintained tires are critical to safe driving. Tires that are badly worn, improperly inflated, damaged, or bald don’t provide you with the traction you need to drive safely. If the road is wet or otherwise slippery, such tires are more likely to allow your vehicle to slide, which can lead to a rollover accident. Tires that are in inferior condition make it more difficult to control your car, and loss of control closely correlates with rollover accidents.
- Drive right. Most single-vehicle rollovers involve drivers who’re tooling along on straight roadways that are relatively harmless. This fact supports the theory that drivers themselves play an outsize role in rollover accidents. Mitigating factors in these accidents typically include driving while distracted, speeding excessively, driving under the influence, and driving while exhausted.
Tripped and Un-Tripped Rollovers
The NHTSA classifies rollover accidents as either tripped or un-tripped. The vast majority of single-vehicle rollover accidents (95 percent) are tripped accidents, which means that the vehicle was tripped by something on the road. This could mean an obstacle or debris on the road, a damaged road, a curb, a steep slope, or even a guardrail. An un-tripped accident, on the other hand, is usually the result of a top-heavy vehicle overcorrecting in a driving emergency.\
Multi-Vehicle Rollover Accidents
Many rollover accidents are single-vehicle affairs, but multi-vehicle accidents can also cause rollovers. Often, excessive speed, driver impairment, and failure to adjust to bad road conditions play causative roles in multi-vehicle rollover accidents. Multi-vehicle rollover accidents often present complicated legal issues regarding causation, and it can require significant legal analysis to determine just who may be responsible for a crash. In some cases, more than one driver is responsible, and liability must be apportioned between them based on their relative degree of fault.
If Another Driver’s Negligence Has Left You Injured in a Rollover, Consult with a Charleston Car Accident Lawyer Today
Rollover accidents are certainly among the most terrifying accidents in which a person can be involved. If you’ve been injured in a rollover accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence, you need experienced legal counsel. At the Hughey Law Firm in Charleston, South Carolina, our dedicated car accident attorneys have the skill, knowledge, and commitment to aggressively advocate for your right to recover compensation. We’re here to help, so please contact us or call our office at (843) 881-8644 today.