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Why rollovers happen and how to avoid them

A rollover is not the most common kind of vehicle accident, but in terms of occupant fatalities and serious injuries, it maintains a disturbingly high ranking. Most rollovers occur on rural roads and at speeds in excess of 55 miles per hour. Not only do they account for 30% of all traffic fatalities, this kind of devasting crash is also the cause of very severe injuries. 

If you and your family are heading out on a road trip, sensible preparation will help you avoid this kind of devastating accident.

Vehicles most at risk

Given the right conditions, any vehicle can roll over. However, because they have a higher center of gravity, taller, narrower vehicles like SUVs, vans and pickup trucks are more at risk than cars built lower to the ground. If your vehicle is rollover-prone, you should pack it carefully before leaving on your vacation.

Pointers for packing

Taller, narrower vehicles are already top-heavy, so do not place weighty objects on the roof of your vehicle. Secure them inside, as close to the center as possible. When you round a curve or make a sharp turn, your SUV is exposed to sideways forces that can shift the center of gravity to one side. This, of course, will cause a temporary imbalance and a possible rollover scenario you want to avoid. Also, ensure that all occupants wear their seat belts.

Vehicle tripping

According to the federal government, “tripping” is the cause of most vehicle rollovers. For example, perhaps you are driving on a two-lane highway. You swerve to avoid an oncoming car that has drifted across the center line. Your SUV can “trip” when the tires connect with the soft shoulder of the road in such a way that the sidewalls deform and the tire rims strike the ground, causing the vehicle to tip up and roll over. The same thing could happen if you hit a curb, a guardrail or a pothole in the road.

If you and your family experience a rollover while on your road trip, the hope is that having prepared well, you all will survive. However, if you suffer injuries due to a rollover caused by another's negligence, you may be able to receive a full and fair settlement to cover your medical expenses and more.

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