Serious car accidents are always terrifying to experience and witness, but no accident is as harrowing as a rollover accident. Any vehicle can roll over under the right (or wrong) circumstances, but vehicles with high centers of gravity or tall vehicles with narrow bases like tractor-trailer trucks, SUVs, and vans are more likely to roll over than lower vehicles with wider wheelbases.
When a vehicle tips and rolls over in an accident in Texas, it causes serious injuries and trauma to victims. According to a McKinney car accident attorney, here are the main causes of rollover accidents so drivers can minimize their risks.
Common Types of Rollover Accidents in Texas
Accident reconstruction experts divide rollover accidents into the following types:
- Tripped rollover accident: just as an object in the way of a person’s stride can cause a walking person to trip, similar causes can result in a vehicle rollover, including hitting a curb, pothole, road-dividing barrier, debris in the road, or a soft road shoulder, causing a vehicle to roll over
- Untripped rollover accidents: top-heavy vehicles like tall trucks and SUVs may roll over when drivers take a curve or a turn at too high a speed or swerve to avoid a collision
- Defective vehicle rollover accidents: this type of rollover accident is less common, but when a defective tire blows out on a car it could result in a rollover accident. Defective trailer hitches on trucks may also cause rollovers
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), rollover accidents are most commonly single-vehicle accidents and are more likely to result in fatalities than any other type of crash. Rollover accidents have steadily increased in Texas since 1991 due to the popularity of SUVs. Drivers most commonly involved in rollover accidents in Texas are males under the age of 40.
What Causes Most Rollover Accidents in Texas?
Rural roads are the most common location for rollover accidents, and there are many such rural routes in Texas. Potholes, uneven pavement, guardrails, and embankments are all common causes of rollovers on rural roads. Other common causes of rollover accidents in Texas include the following:
- Driver error, such as over-correction, swerving, or attempting a turn at too high a speed
- Intoxicated driving
- Distracted driving
- Drowsy driving
- Aggressive driving
- Side-impact (T-Bone) collisions
- Improperly loaded cargo in a tractor-trailer truck
- Driver inexperience
- Placing heavy loads on the vehicle roof
- Vehicle design flaws
- Equipment failure or defective auto parts
- Inclement weather conditions
While seatbelts cannot prevent all fatalities in rollover accidents due to the crushing and collapsing of the roof that occurs in many rollovers, seatbelts greatly reduce the risk of fatalities in Texas rollover accidents.
Avoiding Vehicle Rollover Accident Injuries in Texas
Choosing a low vehicle with a wider wheel base is the best way to minimize the risk of a rollover accident. It’s also critical to wear a seatbelt at all times and rigidly adhere to the speed limits, especially on rough rural roads and in inclement weather conditions. Keep your tires in good shape and with the proper tire pressure recommended for your vehicle. Avoiding driving in poor weather conditions also helps to minimize the risk of rollover accidents in Texas.