Vehicle Rollover Crashes Often Feature Common Catalysts

Following is a set configuration of factors that can — and too often does — lead to a tragic roadway consequence in California and nationally.

A motorist is driving a van or SUV. He or she is traveling on a rural road that has undivided lanes. The vehicle is traveling in excess of the posted speed limit, and the driver has recently consumed alcohol.

Although that scenario might somehow conclude with a problem-free ending for the motorist and all other drivers in the vicinity, many of our readers will reasonably suspect — in fact, know with a certainty — that the above-described elements elevate crash risks to an exceedingly high degree.

As noted on a relevant National Highway Traffic Safety Administration webpage, the aforementioned combination of interrelated factors produces a proverbial perfect storm of conditions that promote the likelihood of a devastating vehicle rollover crash.

As that information source points out, rollover accidents are “particularly violent in nature,” for very obvious reasons. Vehicles flip over, often several times. In many instances, they leave the road and careen down embankments. Drivers and passengers are tossed around.

And adverse consequences are often exacerbated by the abovementioned excessive speed and driver inattentiveness that accompanies many such crashes.

The reason that so many vans and SUVS are involved in rollover incidents is that their narrow frames and comparatively high centers of gravity render them especially unstable when wheels suddenly turn.

The NHTSA states that about 40 percent of rollover accidents involving deaths are marked by excessive speeding. The agency additionally notes that about half of all drivers involved in such crashes consumed alcohol before getting behind the wheel.