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The causes of vehicle rollovers

A vehicle rollover -- whether there is an initial crash that causes it or not -- can be particularly violent. Victims of rollovers often suffer serious and even fatal injuries. There are a lot of misconceptions out there about the common causes of rollovers and who is most at risk. Let's take a look at some of the facts.

Safety experts say that driver behavior is responsible for many rollovers. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 90 percent of fatal, single-vehicle crashes occur when a driver is doing something fairly routine.

That indicates, according to NHTSA, that many of these rollovers occurred because the driver was under the influence, speeding, distracted or not paying attention. In almost half of fatal rollover crashes, the driver was determined to have been drinking. In approximately 40 percent of fatal rollover crashes, the driver was speeding.

Rollover crashes are more likely to occur under some conditions than others. Nearly 75 percent of fatal rollover crashes occur on roads with a speed limit of at least 55 mph. They most commonly happen on rural roads, which often have no lane dividers or barriers.

As would be expected, the vehicles most likely to be involved in a rollover (particularly in single-vehicle incidents) are those that are taller and narrower than traditional cars. These include pickups, SUVs and vans. However, any type of vehicle has the potential to roll over under the "right" circumstances.

Most fatal rollovers (almost 85 percent) involve only one vehicle. However, these crashes may not always be the driver's fault. There could be a problem with the vehicle or a dangerous road condition that could have been prevented.

Regardless of the circumstances of a rollover, if the victim wasn't at fault, it may be wise for that victim or surviving loved ones to seek the advice and guidance of an experienced Houston area attorney.

Source:, "Causes," accessed April 17, 2018

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Brian Jensen

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