Rollover auto crashes kill more than 10,000 people each year across America and can occur in just about any vehicle. Ninety-five percent of rollovers are what auto safety experts call “tripped” rollovers. That means the vehicle strikes something low, such as a curbside or shallow ditch, which tips it over.
An initial roadway departure (drifting or veering off the roadway), followed by an overly aggressive steering wheel action to return to the roadway can send your vehicle teetering over. A steering action that is too fast or that goes too far can also cause a loss of control, even on dry, flat pavement.
While SUVs, trucks and vans tend to get the most attention concerning rollovers, it’s important to note that all vehicles – even low-riding cars – can be made to roll over if dangerous factors intervene. Safety experts agree that the rollover risk tends to be higher in tallriding, narrower vehicles because the center of gravity is higher in these kinds of vehicles. But the center of gravity isn’t the only thing that affects the potential for a rollover.
A driver’s behavior and even road conditions can create rollover accidents. But interestingly, interaction with other vehicles isn’t necessary in order for a rollover to occur. Federal crash statistics, in fact, show that 85 percent of all rollover fatality crashes are single-vehicle events.
The appropriate recovery technique to re-enter a roadway after drifting or veering off is to release the gas pedal, slow gradually by coasting or braking gently, steer along the roadway and gently merge back onto the road without a fast or excessive turn of the steering wheel. Of course, prudent, careful and alert defensive driving also is essential to avoid being involved in a rollover crash.