With the rise in popularity of SUVs as personal vehicles, there was also an increase in the rate of rollover crashes throughout the United States. In fact, rollover crashes are now the cause of almost one-third of all traffic accident fatalities, causing over 10,000 deaths each year. Although the stigma of the "unsafe" SUV sticks, in fact, any vehicle can rollover with the correct unfortunate combination of factors, including the driving characteristics of the motorist and the intrinsic characteristics of the vehicle.
Characteristics of certain types of vehicles make them less stable overall and therefore these vehicles face the increased likelihood of a rollover in the event of a crash. Stability is the most important factor in rollover crashes. Vehicles that are long, narrow, and have a high ground clearance are much more likely to roll over than vehicles that are shorter, thicker, and sit closer to the ground. In addition, the number of passengers in the vehicle as well as their distribution throughout the vehicle can affect its overall stability. In a vehicle with a low ground clearance, additional passengers can actually add stability. However, because of the weight distribution in vehicles with high ground clearance, additional weight can actually decrease the vehicle's overall stability.
In addition to the overall stabilizing features of the vehicle, other factors can play a large roll in the likelihood of a rollover. Statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that a driver was not performing any unique or out-of-the-ordinary tasks in 90% of fatal rollover crashes. Instead, drivers were performing standard, routine driving measures, such as driving in a straight line or maneuvering around a curve. This information indicates that most drivers involved in rollover crashes were distracted by other factors while driving. In addition, the speed and mental condition of the driver can affect the likelihood of a rollover. In almost 40 percent of fatal rollovers, excessive speeding was a factor. In addition, alcohol is a factor in almost half of all rollovers. Therefore, it is not only the characteristics of the vehicle, but also the actions of the driver that increase the chances of a rollover crash.
In event of a rollover crash accident, it is important to have a knowledgeable lawyer to help you get the compensation you need for your losses.
For more information about vehicle crashes and the legal issues surrounding car accidents, visit the website of Rhinelander auto accident attorneys of Habush Habush & Rottier, S.C.
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