Rollover crashes – in which a vehicle rolls over onto its side or its roof – are pretty rare (about 2 percent of all crashes), but they’re also more serious, “violent’ even, making up roughly 35 percent of all traffic accident fatalities, according to the National Highway and Transportation Safety Administration.
In 2010 alone, more than 7,600 people died in rollover crashes, and sadly, the majority of them – 69 percent – were not wearing a seat belt. Roughly 85 percent of rollover crashes are single-vehicle accidents.
It can happen in any vehicle, but SUVs, pickups and vans are more susceptible to rollover crashes because they are taller, more narrow and have higher centers of gravity.
The injuries are usually more serious, including:
- Head injuries – Concussions, skull fractures, scalp wounds
- Traumatic brain injuries – Brain dysfunction caused by an outside force, usually a violent blow to the head.
- Neck injuries – Whiplash, strains, disk injuries, etc.
- Spinal cord injuries – These injuries can cause problems with mobility or even permanent paralysis.
- Internal bleeding – a loss of blood from a blood vessel that collects inside the body.
- Broken bones and a lot of cuts and bruises
Common causes of rollover crashes in North Carolina include:
Speed: About 40 percent of fatal rollover crashes are caused by excessive speed.
- Alcohol: Nearly half of all fatal rollover crashes involve alcohol.
- Rural roads: They tend to be undivided and have no barriers to prevent a vehicle from rolling over.
There are two types of rollover crashes:
- Tripped: When a vehicle leaves the roadway and slides sideways, digging its tires into soft soil or striking an object such as a curb or guardrail. The high “tripping” force applied to the tires in these situations is what causes the vehicle to roll over.
- Untripped: These are much less common (about 5 percent of rollover crashes), happening mostly to top-heavy vehicles. Untripped rollovers usually occur during high-speed collision avoidance maneuvers.
If you’ve been injured in a rollover accident in North Carolina, you need an experienced personal injury to weave through the complex issues surrounding your case. Don’t sign anything or speak to insurance adjusters without calling Robert Louis Armstrong. Contact his office today for a consultation.