Rollovers are some of the most serious car crashes. Every year, approximately 10,000 people are killed in rollover crashes, accounting for more than 30% of all automobile fatalities. Rollover accidents were pushed into the spotlight in 2001 during the recalls of millions of Ford Explorers. Although many of these Explorer-related accidents have been partially linked to the use of defective tires, the design of the SUV has contributed significantly to these statistics.
Vehicles that are especially prone to such accidents include:
- Pickup trucks
This is because these vehicles are designed with a high center gravity that can cause the driver to lose control of the car if brakes are applied at moderate or high speeds or in the event of a tire blowout. In addition to the high center of gravity, SUVs tend to be longer and narrower in shape, and come with a narrow tire track.
How Do Rollover Accidents Occur?
Rollover accidents commonly involve SUVs and trucks, but compact cars are not immune. Vehicles are most commonly involved in rollovers when they are tripped up by another object. If a vehicle is traveling at a high rate of speed and clips the edge of another object, then the vehicle may become airborne and flip over. For example, if a minivan lost control at a high enough speed and clipped the curb, the curb may act as a ramp which lifts the vehicle off of the ground. Rollover accidents may also be caused when a vehicle is attempting to turn at too great a speed.
It is possible that the reason for the rollover accident or the fact that the vehicle tipped or rolled over was because of a faulty vehicle design. A poorly designed roof may have also contributed to the severe nature of the injuries you experienced. In these matters, a product liability or car accident lawyer can advise you of your rights and legal options.
The injuries that ensue from these types of accidents are often very serious, so if you were involved in a rollover accident caused by a negligent driver or defective part then you can seek legal help from a Houston rollover accident lawyer.
About Traction Control
Previously, crashworthiness of a vehicle was the primary focus of an engineer while determining a vehicle’s inherent safety. However, with the popularity of newer vehicles like sport utility vehicles (SUVs) that have a tendency to rollover during an accident, automobile safety experts increasingly stress the importance of traction control mechanisms in vehicles to reduce the risk of a rollover accident in the first place.
Traction refers to the grip of a vehicle’s tires on the road. This grip is necessary especially during acceleration, turning and braking. The absence of grip causes the vehicle to skid. Lack of grip on the road is especially risky during bad weather. In conditions of snow, ice and rain it is easier for a driver to lose control of the vehicle while turning or braking, potentially causing a rollover accident.
When the car comes with a traction control system, this loss of grip is prevented, making for a safe ride.
Electronic Stability Control (ESC)
ESC systems make use of computer technology to control braking systems and enable drivers to retain control of the vehicle. These systems have the ability to prevent loss of grip and control, thus preventing a rollover accident. Installation of an ESC system can reduce the likelihood of a rollover accident by up to 80%. The NHTSA has urged automobile companies to make installation of these ESC systems standard features in all their vehicles. As a result, some SUV manufacturers have now installed ESC systems on new models, but these continue to remain optional features. The NHTSA is considering making an ESC system mandatory on all SUV-type vehicles.
Contact a Skilled Houston Rollover Accident Lawyer Today!
Talking to a car accident lawyer about your right to compensation in the wake of a rollover accident should be a primary concern. You may have experienced serious injuries and may now be dealing with the extremely high cost of medical care, not to mention lost wages if you have been unable to work for an extended period of time. A rollover accident lawyer can review the nature of the accident to determine if the design of the vehicle or a manufacturing defect contributed to the rollover. If this is the case, you may have grounds for a lawsuit.
Contact a rollover accident lawyer at Houston law firm de Lachica Law Firm, PLLC, today to talk about traction control, design defects and rollover accidents.