A late night rollover crash cost a Morrow County man his life recently after his vehicle, a Dodge Grand Caravan, struck a sign and a culvert and then overturned. The man and his passenger, who police indicate were both wearing seat belts, were both taken to the hospital. While the passenger suffered non-life threatening injuries, the man died at the hospital.
Rollover Crashes and Vehicle Types
Rollover crashes are severe and complicated and often involve a variety of factors including the driver, road and environmental conditions, and vehicle type. A significant factor in a rollover crash more often than not is the type of vehicle – some types of vehicles are more likely to roll over during a crash than other vehicles simply due to their design. Tall and narrow vehicles, including vans such as the Morrow County man was driving, as well as pickup trucks, SUVs, and other similar vehicles have a higher center of gravity than smaller passenger cars that are lower to the ground.
Other Common Factors of Rollover Crashes
While vehicle type plays a huge role in rollover crashes, it is far from the only factor. Safercar.gov identifies several other factors of note when looking at rollover crash statistics:
- Speed: Higher speeds often contribute to a driver’s loss of control of his or her vehicle and, therefore, it should come as no surprise that many rollover crashes involve vehicles that are being driven at excessive rates of speed. Studies show that almost three-quarters of all rollovers that resulted in deaths occurred on roads with speed limits of or above 55 miles per hour.
- Drinking and Driving: Another factor that is often present in rollover crashes is alcohol impairment. Any time a driver is impaired there is a greater chance that he or she will lose control of their vehicle.
- Rural Roads: A significant percentage of all rollover accidents occur on rural roads, in particular where the speed limit is higher than in more urban areas. Rural roads often do not have barriers or guardrails either separating the lanes of traffic from each other or from the sides of the road; once a car begins to go out of control there is nothing to stop it from continuing along its dangerous trajectory.
- Driver Behavior: A vast majority of rollover crashes only involve one vehicle and, in most of those cases, at the time of the accident the driver was performing routine driving practices such as driving straight or around a curve. Because these crashes occur most frequently when drivers are not performing any extraordinary driving maneuvers, and no other vehicles are involved, it seems likely that driver behavior itself is a major factor in these types of accidents.
All Rollover Accidents Are Not The Same – Tripped Vs. Un-Tripped Rollovers
Rollover accidents, regardless of how they are caused, are either tripped or un-tripped. The majority of rollover accidents involving just one vehicle are tripped, which means that the vehicle leaves the road and skids. As a result of the skidding, the vehicle’s tires either dig into the soil or strike an object such as a guardrail, curb, snow bank, or other obstruction and this causes the vehicle to trip – and to then tip over and roll. The second type of rollover accident, which happens far less than tripped rollovers, is the un-tripped rollover. Occurring mainly with vehicles that have a high center of gravity or are top-heavy, this happens when these drivers of these vehicles try to avoid high-speed collisions and the vehicle loses its balance and tips over.
Rollover Crash Injuries
When rollover crashes occur, most likely the vehicle occupants will suffer some type of injuries, as these crashes usually involve extensive damage to the vehicles themselves as well as their occupants. Even when the car itself remains somewhat intact, those inside of it are often thrown or jostled around, even when wearing a seat belt. Due to the violent nature of these accidents, some injuries are more likely to occur than others, including those involving the head, neck, and spine. Skull fractures, traumatic brain injuries, whiplash and broken necks and backs are often suffered by survivors of rollover crashes. Other less serious injuries such as broken extremity bones and soft tissue injuries are often among those suffered by rollover crash victims as well.
Long-Term Consequences of Rollover Crash Injuries
While modern medicine has come a long way and allows today’s doctors the ability to repair many of these types of injuries, just as many of these injuries can lead to a lifetime of pain and suffering. The broken bones may heal, but some injuries can cause permanent damage. Brain trauma can lead to long term or even permanent damage that results in life changes for the injured party as well as his or her family and loved ones. With some types of injuries, the result can be paralysis, which prevents the victim from ever using his or her arms, legs, or even entire body again without some sort of extraordinary measures. Paralysis means a completely changed existence for its victims, and is quite commonly a tragic result of rollover crashes.
When Accidents Happen, the Ohio Car Accident Lawyers Can Help
Despite every safety precaution we may take, accidents will still happen. When they do, you are entitled to recover for your losses, and the Ohio Car Accident Lawyers can help you obtain the fair recovery you deserve. Auto accident and personal injury cases often involve complicated matters and require attention to detail and a broad range of experience to know how to best handle the case. The professional Cleveland, Ohio auto accident attorneys at the Ohio Car Accident Lawyers are here to provide this level of professional service to you. We have a wide variety of experience handling all types of accident cases and will work hard to get you the results you need. Contact the Ohio Car Accident Lawyers today to set up a time to meet with us to discuss your case at no cost or obligation to you.