Prevent Vehicle Rollover Accidents and Injuries

rollover accidentApproximately 10,000 people a year are killed in vehicle rollover accidents - representing about a quarter of all fatalities across the country. Hundreds in North Carolina die each year in rollover car accidents. How can you keep you and your family safe if you experience a rollover, and how can you prevent rollover accidents from occurring in the first place?

The most important safety tip regarding rollover accidents is wear your seat belt. According to the Consumer's Union, 78% of those who die in rollover crashes were not wearing their seat belts at the time of the crash, resulting in 64% of victims being fully or partially ejected from their respective vehicles during the crash. Seat belts keep passengers secure and in the vehicle's "roll cage" during an accident.

To prevent rollover accidents, drivers should avoid sudden turns at high speeds, especially when driving an SUV or other vehicle that is top-heavy. More than 60% of rollovers involve SUVs. Even when presented with a possible accident (such as wildlife crossing or another road obstruction) do not jerk the wheel suddenly to avoid a crash - sometimes it is safer to hit an animal or object in the road than to risk a rollover or swerving into oncoming traffic in another lane.

Another way to prevent rollover accidents is to check the rollover ratings of your vehicle before you make a purchase it. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has vehicle rollover ratings available, which covers car, truck, and SUV Static Stability Factors (SSF).

Being aware of fatigue is another helpful way to prevent rollover accidents. Many drivers who fall asleep at the wheel veer off the road and then awaken as their vehicle hits rumble strips or rough ground. When they see they are leaving the roadway, they often jerk the wheel, resulting in a rollover accident and possible serious injury.