Causes of Sacramento Rollover Crashes and How To Avoid Them

vehicle on side after being involved in rollover crash in SacramentoRollover crashes are among the deadliest types of accidents and often completely preventable. Even when a rollover involves only one vehicle, the damage is often catastrophic. This is especially true if the driver and/or other occupants were not wearing seat belts.

Our attorneys at Arnold Law Firm explain more about rollover car crashes in this article, including why they are so dangerous. We also discuss how they happen, who may be liable and, most importantly, how you can avoid them.

Injured in a rollover crash in California? If so, we strongly recommend that you seek legal help as soon as possible. Our auto accident lawyers in Sacramento have been fighting for justice for injured crash victims for decades.

Not sure if you have a case? We offer a free, no-risk initial case review to discuss your situation and determine if you may have legal options. If you have a case and choose our firm to represent you, there are no upfront costs to pay. We only receive our fees if we win your case through a settlement or jury-awarded verdict.

Request your FREE case review today. (916) 777-7777

What Is a Rollover Crash?

Rollover crashes are dangerous and are typically caused by driver error or negligence. In this type of collision, a vehicle may roll onto its side, flip upside down or roll over multiple times before coming to a stop.

Most often, rollover crashes involve a single vehicle. However, depending on other factors, they can lead to multi-vehicle crashes as well. Single-vehicle rollover crashes may often result in the vehicle striking another object, such as a guardrail or tree. The force of impact, combined with one or more rollovers, increases the risk of catastrophic injuries.

What Types of Rollover Crashes Are There?

The two main types of vehicle rollover crashes include tripped and untripped rollovers.

A tripped rollover, which is the most common, happens when a vehicle unexpectedly leaves the road, skidding sideways. If the vehicle’s tires hit something while skidding, like a curb, large pothole or an object in the road, it causes a sudden increase in sideways momentum. This lateral movement is what forces the vehicle into a roll. Sometimes this type of rollover collision can happen after a vehicle strikes a guardrail or another vehicle.

Untripped rollovers are often the result of a driver taking a corner too fast. When drivers approach and corner a turn at too high a speed, the force of momentum it creates works against you. This cornering force can quickly cause a vehicle to flip, tip or go into a roll.

How Do Rollover Crashes Happen?

Driver error is typically the main contributing factor to any auto accident involving a vehicle rollover. Typically, the negligence for these crashes falls under four categories:

Driver Error:

This type of error may result from carelessness, being distracted in the moment or inexperience. Specific driver errors may include:

  • Taking a turn or corner too fast
  • Oversteering around a corner
  • Driving or turning too fast during bad weather, such as heavy rain or snow
  • Losing control of the vehicle

Driver Negligence:

Common types of driver negligence that can lead to a rollover crash include:

  • Drowsy driving, driving while fatigued or falling asleep at the wheel
  • Driving on tires that are too worn or underinflated due to a lack of maintenance
  • Overloading cargo a vehicle, especially loading heavy items on top

Reckless or Careless Driving Behavior:

More extreme and dangerous driving behavior that could cause a rollover crash may include:

  • Speeding or illegal drag racing on unclosed roadways
  • Driving while drunk
  • Driving while impaired by other substances, such as drugs

Other Causes:

Some situations that result in a rollover crash may arise that are out of a driver’s control, such as:

  • Being struck in a side-impact crash by another vehicle
  • Unexpected road hazards, especially at night when they are harder to see
  • Absent or poorly marked road signs, such as signage around a construction or work zone area

Which Vehicles Are More Likely To Rollover or Flip?

Vehicles positioned higher above the ground are more susceptible to rollovers. This heightened risk especially impacts:

  • SUVs, including crossover or hybrid SUVs: Drivers in these vehicles may often feel safer, even in bad weather conditions, leading them to continue driving faster. However, since these vehicles sit higher up off the ground, it causes more instability when they make turns, especially when going around curved roads and corners.
  • Mini vans, or any type of full-size van: Minivans, delivery vans or any type of cargo or passenger van, have a greater rollover crash risk because of their large and boxy shape. These vehicles are often overloaded, especially when being used to transport cargo, goods or providing transportation services to passengers. The more occupants and cargo loaded into a passenger van, the greater the likelihood of a rollover crash.
  • Pickups, especially larger pickup trucks: Drivers of pickup trucks may inadvertently overload their vehicles. Overloading any vehicle, especially those that have a higher center of gravity, greatly increases the risk of a rollover crash.

What Types of Injuries May Occur in a Rollover Crash?

Rollover accidents often lead to severe injuries for several reasons. The structure of the car might collapse during the flip, leading to injuries. Faulty airbag deployment can also contribute to harm. Furthermore, being jolted or thrown inside the car during multiple rolls can result in serious harm, such as:

  • Compression injuries from parts of the car caving in or limbs getting trapped under the dashboard
  • Spinal cord injuries resulting in severe damage, including partial or full paralysis
  • Multiple severe fractures throughout the body
  • Internal organ damage
  • Lacerations from the wreckage, including torn metal or shattered glass
  • Internal bleeding
  • Crush injuries due to the force at impact
  • Death

How Can You Avoid Being Involved in a Rollover Crash?

When you get behind the wheel, you cannot determine what any other driver may do. You are only in control of your own actions. When driving, you can help to reduce your risk of being involved in a rollover by being diligent to drive defensively, such as by:

  • Keeping your eyes moving to help prevent fatigue or highway hypnosis
  • Staying aware of what is happening around you, including behind you
  • Maintaining a safe following distance as this gives you more time to react to unexpected hazards
  • Always leaving yourself an “out” – a cushion of distance between vehicles, including space in the lane next to you
  • Slowing down as you approach corners, giving drivers behind and around you time to adjust their own speed
  • Making sure other drivers see you by braking and signaling properly, not at the last minute
  • Maintaining your vehicle – your tires, your windshield, vehicle lights, brakes, etc.
  • Always taking time to consider the weather and road conditions when driving
  • Not driving while impaired by alcohol, drugs or other substances
  • Adhering to speed limits, especially in bad weather or while taking turns or changing lanes
  • Being diligent not to drive with an over-loaded or top-heavy vehicle
  • Not getting behind the wheel while drowsy, hungover or overly fatigued due to work or other things
  • Not getting distracted or engaging in behavior that takes your mind, eyes or hands away from the task of driving

Injured in a Rollover Collision? Call Our Law Firm Today

Arnold Law Firm has been helping injured victims throughout Sacramento for decades. We are tough negotiators and have the staff and resources to fully manage every aspect of your injury case.

If you have a case and choose our firm to represent you, there are no initial fees to worry about. Our payment is contingent upon winning your case through a settlement agreement or jury-awarded verdict. In other words, we only get paid if you do.

Call today to learn more. Our staff are available to take your call 24/7. California has time limits for filing a claim, so we strongly recommend calling sooner than later. It also takes time to build a solid case. When crash victims wait to call an attorney, evidence can get lost or destroyed.

Arnold Law Firm. We fight for justice for you. (916) 777-7777