There’s a line of reasoning that argues the wheel is man’s greatest invention. There’s certainly no transportation substitute for tires – just look what happens when vehicles end up on their sides or roofs. Known as a rollover, these wrecks are some of the most deadly. While rollovers are often associated with SUVs, vans, and light trucks, any vehicle can be involved in one. Some happen after a front, side, or rear impact with another vehicle or a fixed object; others happen when a driver overcorrects, or when a vehicle’s tires hit a pothole, run onto soft shoulder, drop off the pavement, blowout, or fail.
At the Johnson Law Firm, our Pikeville personal injury lawyers handle rollover wreck cases in Eastern Kentucky and statewide. Our founder, Billy Johnson, has been named a Super Lawyer by U.S. News & World Report as well as an American Trial Lawyers Association Top 100 trial lawyer and he is a proud member of the Million Dollar and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forums. It’s important to contact us as soon as possible after you are injured in an accident because any delay can cause critical evidence to be lost and make it harder to prove fault. You need your own investigative team working to secure the evidence needed to prove your claim.
The statistics tell the story:
- In 2014, a total of 6,863 occupants in passenger vehicles died in rollover crashes. Almost 30 percent of these crashes did not involve any other impact.
- Crashes in which a vehicle rolled over accounted for one-third of passenger vehicle occupant deaths in 2014.
- More than 75 percent of fatal rollovers are single-vehicle crashes.
- In 2014, single-vehicle rollover crashes accounted for 41 percent of occupant deaths in SUVs, 36 percent in pickups, and 18 percent in cars.
- Rollover crashes are more likely to result in fatalities than other types of crashes.
- Rollover crashes constitute about one-fifth of all fatal crashes.
- Nearly one-half of rollovers in single vehicle wrecks and one-third of rollovers in multi-vehicle wrecks are preceded by an attempt to avoid the crash by a steering maneuver.
- Speed is an important factor in fatal rollovers, with most crashes occurring where speed limits are 55 miles per hour or higher.
Since 1978, light trucks and SUVs have exhibited a consistently higher percentage of rollover deaths than cars. These vehicles have a higher center of gravity and are “top-heavy.” Combining that with a narrow track width and a short wheelbase, these taller vehicles are especially susceptible to rolling over.
Many Hollywood action movies with car chase scenes include a least one spectacular rollover (sometimes even the less common, but more terrifying, end-over-end type). Rollovers play well on the big screen because they are exceptionally violent crashes. Not only do they result in major property damage, they subject occupants to a variety of forces and impacts. Unrestrained occupants can be ejected, raising the likelihood of a fatality. Furthermore, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) has estimated that collapsing roofs kill about 600 and injure about 900 people every year.
In a rollover, pressure is applied to one side and then the other, which weakens the roof. In 2009, NHTSA updated its 35-year-old “roof crush” rule. Now, vehicles weighing 6,000 pounds or less must be able to withstand a force equal to three times their weight applied alternately to each side of the roof. Vehicles weighing between 6,000 and 10,000 pounds must be able to withstand 1.5 times their own weight on the roof, which cannot bend so far that it would contact the head of a mediun-height, male test dummy.
Whether caused by another motorist who was driving recklessly, by a manufacturer who made a defective product, or by a work-zone crew who left unsafe pavement, a rollover wreck is serious. Based in Pikeville, KY rollover car wreck lawyer Billy Johnson believes that those who cause harm to others should be held accountable for their actions. This includes paying compensation to accident victims for medical expenses, lost wages, property loss, pain and suffering, and, in the event of a fatal accident, wrongful death. A proven advocate with over 15 years of experience, Billy has made it his life’s work to help people throughout Kentucky. He has handled litigation in the United States Court of Appeals, the District Courts for both the Eastern and Western Districts of Kentucky, and the United States Bankruptcy Court. Get started today with a free, no-obligation case review by calling 1-855-433-7532. You can also fill out this online form to discuss the details of your accident and find out your rights.