Common Causes of Rollover Accidents and the Injuries That Result

A rollover accident occurs when a vehicle tips onto its side or roof at any point during a crash. Rollovers can result from multiple causes, including impacts with other vehicles or objects, high-speed maneuvers like swerving, reckless operation of a vehicle (including DUI) and even weather and road conditions. The injuries suffered in rollovers can be serious or even fatal, often because drivers and passengers are thrown around within the vehicle and are sometimes ejected.

According to 2021 data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), 76 percent of rollovers were associated with an impact of some kind, while 24 percent of rollovers were due to other factors, such as:

  • Tripping, which is when a tire catches on something, such as a curb or ditch, that shifts the vehicle’s weight to one side suddenly and causes it to tip over
  • Falling over an embankment
  • Carrying cargo that is too heavy or that is improperly loaded
  • Neglected road surfaces, poorly marked curves and other problems with the roadway
  • Wet, snowy or icy road conditions

However, the single most common cause of rollovers is driver error. Drivers can make bad decisions and mistakes that lead to a single-vehicle rollover or cause an impact with another vehicle in a way that makes it roll over. Some of the most common driver errors that lead to rollovers are:

  • Distracted driving
  • Intoxication from alcohol or drugs
  • Aggressive driving
  • Driving while tired and fatigued
  • Driving too fast for road conditions
  • Lack of familiarity with the road

The sudden and violent nature of rollover crashes can cause serious injuries, among them:

  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
  • Spinal cord injuries and paralysis
  • Organ dam and loss of limb
  • Soft tissue injuries, ligament damage and whiplash
  • Broken bones

In addition, rollovers tend to be deadlier than most other types of auto accidents. Although rollovers account for only 3 percent of all crashes, they account for 35 percent of all passenger vehicle fatalities, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Fatal rollovers most often involve vehicles that were speeding. Drivers ejected from a car can be killed on impact with the ground. In rare instances, a rolling vehicle can burst into flames.

If you have been hurt in a rollover accident, an experienced New Jersey auto injury lawyer can help you reconstruct the event so as to determine who might be liable. The accident may have been caused by negligence on the part of another driver, a vehicle manufacturer or a public agency responsible for road safety. You may be able to obtain compensation from any of those parties.

The attorneys at Seigel Law in Ridgewood in New Jersey represent drivers and passengers injured in rollovers and the families of people who have lost their lives in such accidents. You can call our office at 201-444-4000 or contact us online to schedule a consultation at no cost or obligation.

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