Rollover accidents can be terrifying. One minute you are driving along normally; the next minute the vehicle flips onto its roof and you find yourself upside down.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there are over 280,000 rollover accidents in the United States each year. On average, more than 10,000 people die as a result, and thousands more suffer life-threatening injuries. Recent analysis in the news suggests the importance of knowing how to prevent your car from a rollover and what to do if a rollover occurs.
Reasons for rollovers
Rollover accidents occur for a variety of reasons. Some of these reasons can include:
- Overcorrecting or jerking the wheels
- Top-heavy vehicles
- Old, worn-down or flat tires
- Sliding off the roadway onto gravel or uneven ground
- Collisions and car crashes
Most rollovers result from “tripping,” which is when the car swerves to avoid something in the road. Make sure you are alert and aware of your surroundings to avoid this from happening to you. If you’re feeling tired, pull over to a safe location until you feel ready to drive again. Make sure to have your tires checked regularly and avoid distractions while driving. Most importantly, drive the speed limit and follow the rules of the road. A rollover will likely be worse the faster you are driving.
Steps to take when a rollover occurs
A rollover often happens so fast you can’t prepare; however, if you feel your car starting to rollover, try to remember the following six steps:
- Remove your feet from the pedals to avoid breaking your foot or ankle.
- Remove your hands from the steering wheel to protect your head and press your body into the seat.
- Once the car has landed, immediately shut off the engine to help avoid a fire.
- Place one hand on the roof of the car to brace yourself from falling and use the other hand to slowly unbuckle your seat belt. Be very careful not to fall on your head. This could cause additional injuries to your neck and spinal cord.
- Look for the safest exit and crawl to it while being careful of glass.
- Once you have exited the vehicle, assist anyone else still inside before moving a safe distance away to call the police.
There are several injuries that can result from a rollover. Some of the most common include broken bones, internal bleeding, paralysis and brain damage. If you or someone you love are injured in a rollover accident, consider hiring an attorney to help you recover damages as you work towards recovery.