The rollover is one of the worst types of auto accidents. This is because the occupants of the vehicle are subject to forces and motion from all directions. The occupants must also rely on the vehicle’s roof to protect them. Unfortunately the roof is the car’s Achilles heal because it is relatively weak compared to the car’s other structural parts. In short, cars are primarily designed to be crashworthy when in a right side up position.
The Physics Of A Rollover
We are all familiar with how tall and thin objects are easy to tip over while tipping a thin and flat plate is next to impossible. This principle also applies to vehicles. A car or truck with a narrow base and high center of gravity is more prone to a rollover than a car that is short and squat. Therefore SUVs and pickup trucks are generally more susceptible to rollovers than sport cars.
Another important factor is that the tires must experience a side force. It is more difficult to tip over an object on a slippery ice surface than on a surface with a lot of grip. An object can also be tipped over when its bottom is caught against something such as a stop. This principle applies to car rollovers as well. A tall unstable SUV that has tires with excellent grip can rollover from a very hard turning maneuver. A stable sports car can also rollover if it skids sideways into a curb with sufficient speed. All types of vehicles are subject to rolling when they go off the road and down a steep slope.
- Always wear your seat belt. Your seat belt prevents you from tumbling inside a rolling car which would otherwise expose you to many types of severe injury. Your seat belt also prevents ejection from your car which is often fatal.
- Drive at a safe speed for the conditions. Excessive speed increases the tipping forces that cause rollovers. The risk of a rollover in a low-speed accident is lower than one occurring at high-speed. An SUV or pickup truck cornering at high-speed has no margin for error. A rollover may happen should the driver have to take evasive action.
- Drive carefully on rural roads. Many rural “highways” are little more than narrow undivided roads with lines painted down their center. Traffic speed is high and barriers are either non-existent or inadequate.
- Maintain your tires. Low tire pressure degrades the road performance of your car. Old tires with stress cracks in the rubber are at risk of a blowout. Replace your tires when they become worn or after every six years, whichever occurs first.
If you have suffered injuries in a rollover accident because of a mechanical defect or the actions of another driver, get in touch with a Mission Viejo accident attorney. It is your right to demand compensation for injury caused by the negligence of another party. Silverthorne Attorneys can help you get what you deserve. Contact us today.