At the end of June, a commercial motor vehicle driver was killed when the vehicle that the man was driving veered off of Interstate 15 and slid 75 feet down an embankment. Law enforcement was not sure what the speed of the commercial motor vehicle was at the time that the vehicle slid off the right shoulder and struck a concrete wall. The vehicle ultimately came to a stop after striking a telephone pole. While any vehicle can roll, the high center of gravity in tall, narrow motor vehicles make these types of vehicles most susceptible to rollovers.
The National Highway Traffic Administration reports that 10,000 people die each year due to vehicle rollovers. This article will describe various pieces of advice for avoiding vehicle rollovers, which include the following:
- Apply Extra Caution on Rural Highways. Many fatal rollover accidents occur on rural areas of roads with speed limits posted above 55 miles per hour. As a result, travel these highways safely and be sure to follow all of the other listed recommendations while traveling on them.
- Buckle Up and Make Sure All Passengers in the Vehicle Do The Same. While wearing a seatbelt will not prevent a rollover, wearing a seatbelt is likely to prevent the lives of motor vehicle drivers and passengers. Seatbelts are also likely to prevent the most substantial type of injuries from occurring during vehicle rollovers.
- Carefully Maneuver Around Corners. When traveling around a corner, be sure to go slow and cautiously because these types of turns frequently lead to vehicle rollovers when the wrong circumstances are present.
- Don’t Drink and Drive. A high number of rollover accidents occur when someone operates a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol. Drunk driving tends to make many motor vehicle operators drive erratically and swerve between lanes or make sharp, unplanned turns. By never driving drunk, motorists can eliminate one of the many causes of motor vehicle accidents. If you have been drinking and need to get home, ask a friend or stay where you are until you have sobered enough that your blood alcohol content is within reasonable levels.
- Don’t Drive Distracted. Driving distracted can result in accidents that lead to rollovers. Never try to text or talk on the telephone without a wireless headset while driving. Your full concentration should be on properly maneuvering the vehicle on the roads, which you will be unable to do if your attention is diverted by a cellular phone.
- Give Other Cars Room. Never tailgate and also make sure that your own motor vehicle has enough room to respond to conditions in case the driver around you makes an erratic turn.
- Latest Technologies. Make sure your vehicle is equipped with the most recent safety updates. Each year, various safety updates are made to vehicles to ensure that the vehicles do not rollover while on the road. As a result, it is important to also make sure that older vehicles are up to date with safety standards.
- Never Overload Motor Vehicles. As the weight of a vehicle increases, the vehicle’s stability decreases. This instability is particularly dangerous with sports utility vehicles and pickup trucks, which are already predisposed to rolling over. If need be, read the vehicle’s instruction manual to make sure that the cargo load is lighter than the manufacturer’s maximum recommended load weight.
- Never Panic or Overcompensate When Steering a Vehicle. When vehicles make close calls, it is the reflex of many drivers to overcorrect and swerve the steering wheel too harshly. This type of driving maneuver can cause motorists to lose control and result in rollovers when vehicles are traveling at high speeds.
- Never Speed. Speeding increases the potential for the rollover of motor vehicles due to a crash. In fact, many vehicle rollovers result from motorists who are speeding. As a result, be sure to follow the posted speed limits on roads and interstates. Be extra cautious to never speed while taking turns, which can lead to vehicles running up against guardrails or other obstacle that can initiate rollovers.
- Obey Road Conditions. Roads that are wet can grow slick. Be careful when traveling on all types of road conditions and be sure to follow any posted signs about motor vehicle operators are supposed to drive to be sure that the vehicle is not placed into situations where the vehicle’s center of gravity is vulnerable and rollovers are likely.
- Tires. Check your tire pressure frequently because safe tire maintenance helps prevent rollovers from occurring. Also, only replace tires with types that are closest to the original equipment that was used on the motor vehicle. Resist the temptation to upgrade the tires on vehicles, which due to changes in lateral grips can increases the risk of a rollover. Also make sure that tire pressure is not out of balance. Tires with pressure that is out of balance can cause vehicles to become unstable and more susceptible to rollovers. Worn tires may also cause a motor vehicle to slide sideways on slippery surfaces which can increase the risks of a vehicle rollover.
- When Purchasing a Vehicle, Choose a Vehicle With a Low Center of Gravity and a Stable Base. Some of the motor vehicles including sport utility vehicles, minivans and pickup trucks are predisposed to rollover due to the vehicle’s high center of gravity and narrow base. This type of predisposed risk can be avoided entirely by purchasing a vehicle that is not likely to result in these types of conditions.
Rollover accidents can have tragic repercussions. If you are involved in a rollover caused by the negligence of another person, contact the skilled car crash attorneys in San Diego at The Sargent Firm Injury Lawyers for a free case consultation today.