On April 30, 2009 the U.S. Department of Transportation regulated that new vehicle roofs must withstand three times the weight for vehicles weighing up to 6,000 pounds. According to the American Association of Justice the new regulation is still not enough to protect consumers in rollover accidents. Rollover accidents are by far the most dangerous type of auto accidents. The AAJ website states that there is a rollover death every hour in the United States.
According to safecar.gov improperly inflated tires and worn tires add to the risk of a rollover because they inhibit the driver’s ability to control the car. Overloading a car can also be a big factor in rollover risks. If you are using a roof rack, check the owner’s manual to find the maximum weight of items it can hold and how to disperse the weight on the roof rack. Overloading the roof rack can cause the vehicle to be top heavy.
Knowing how to handle the car if it should leave the roadway is essential in avoiding a rollover situation. If your car leaves the roadway, slowly decrease your speed until you gain control to drive back onto the road. Do not over- correct your steering. This is a common reaction when someone panics in a emergency driving situation. Remaining calm and steady with your steering will allow the car to ease back on the roadway.
Most rollovers happen on rural roads and highways. The highways are particularly undivided, two lane roads or divided roads without center barriers. Vehicles will overturn because they hit the embankment or ditch. 75% of rollover accidents happen on rural roads so use extreme caution when traveling this type of road especially in inclimate weather or at night.
About the Editors: Shapiro, Cooper,Lewis & Appleton personal injury law firm is based in Virginia (VA), near the NE North Carolina (NC) border and handles car, truck, railroad, and medical negligence cases and more. Our lawyers proudly edit the Virginia Beach Injuryboard, Norfolk Injuryboard, and Northeast North Carolina Injuryboard as a pro bono public information service. Lawyers licensed in: VA, NC, SC, WV, DC, KY.