Rollover accidents are among the most serious type of car accidents, and it takes a skilled driver to avoid one when the wheels are set in motion; this is one reason that defensive driving classes are so valuable.
Luckily, even if you haven’t had an opportunity to take such a class, there are still simple steps you can take to minimize your odds of being involved in a rollover crash. These four basic rules can protect you and your family when traveling, particularly in bad weather, and make you one of the safest drivers on the road.
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Rollovers: What Causes These Deadly Accidents?
One of the most common risk factors in rollover accidents is the type of car your drive: tall, narrow cars like SUVs and trucks are more likely to roll over because they have a higher center of gravity. This can seem counterintuitive since most people feel safer in large cars – and in traditional crashes, SUVs, and minivans will typically rank as safer than their smaller counterparts – but rollovers are fundamentally different from most multi-car collisions. While multi-car crashes pit vehicles against one another, rollovers are all about how your car interacts with the road. Other cars are usually collateral damage in a rollover.
Slow It Down
Another common reason for rollover accidents is driving too fast – nearly 75% of rollovers take place in 55 mph zones or higher, and 40% involve speeding. If you want to reduce your risk of a rollover, then shift to the right lane and take a conservative approach to drive. After all, slowing down can be the difference between arriving at your destination in one piece and suffering broken bones, spinal injuries, or a traumatic brain injury, all common outcomes in rollovers.
Though most rollover accidents occur during typical driving activities, either on a straightaway or normal curve, a significant number occurs in rural areas. This may be because rural roads are less likely to have dividers and typically have higher speed limits, but it’s also important to note that rural roads are often less well maintained. Lack of road maintenance can put drivers at risk, can mean roads are more hazardous in rain or snow or have more potholes that can send your car off-balance.
Reroute Past Road Repairs
Like rural roads, roads that are currently under repair are more likely to be the site of rollover injuries than typical streets, as many accident victims can attest – and when that’s the case, the local government may be held accountable. In one Pittsburgh-area accident, for example, the local repair team’s failure to close a street led a driver to roll over on an icy road, suffering arm and shoulder injuries. Cases like this underscore the importance of routing around road repairs whenever possible, even if it takes a little extra time.
Car accidents can lead to more than just physical injuries, but may also cause psychological trauma, impact your career, and leave you facing medical and personal debt in the aftermath, which is why it’s so important to take control when you’re on the road. Choose a car with a proven safety record, opt for well-maintained roads, and stick to the speed limit.
By driving smarter, you also make the roads safer for everyone.