Many people who have been involved in car accidents are shocked by just how quickly they can happen. One moment you are traveling down the road and seconds later you are facing the wrong way in traffic, catching your breath—and some victims are left looking at the ground upside-down.

Rollover accidents are some of the deadliest types of crashes drivers can suffer. While a relatively small percentage of vehicles roll over in an accident, rollovers are the cause of nearly a third of auto accident deaths (and countless more serious injuries).

How to Prevent Serious Injuries in a Rollover Crash

Drivers may always be at risk of a rollover accident, but they can also take a few precautions that can both reduce the chances of rolling and the odds of suffering a fatal injury. Before you set off on your next journey, double check that you:

  • Load everything properly. An overloaded vehicle is more likely to roll over, especially if the cargo has not been distributed evenly. Your vehicle is more stable the lower its center of gravity lies, so place as much of the load as you can on the floor rather than the roof.
  • Check your tires. You should check your tire pressure at least once a month, as under-inflated tires increase the risk of a roll. You should also check your tread depth at the same time to make sure all four tires are roadworthy.
  • Check your route. Studies have shown that most rollover accidents take place in rural areas, on undivided highways without barriers, and on roads with a speed limit of 55 mph or more.
  • Buckle your seat belt. While this may not prevent a crash form happening, buckling up is the number one precaution for reducing your risk of serious injury. Over half of all people killed in rollovers are ejected from the vehicle, so always buckle your seat belt for every trip.
  • Have a safe vehicle. Most people are aware that SUVs and pickup trucks are more likely to roll over than other vehicles. However, even smaller cars could be at risk if they do not have rollover safety features such as Electronic Stability Control (ESC) or reinforced roofs.
  • Maintain a safe speed. The faster your vehicle is traveling, the more likely it is that it will roll over, whether or not you make contact with another object.
  • Make small corrections. It can be difficult not to panic in the moment, but a sudden jerk of the wheel can be all the movement a vehicle needs to send it toppling over. If an object moves into your path or you drift onto the shoulder, try to make a small correction to return to the roadway.

Are your friends and family doing all they can to prevent rollovers? Feel free to share this on Facebook to let them know what they can do to stay safe before leaving the house.

Manfred Ricciardelli
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Morristown Workers' Compensation Lawyer