In Southern Illinois, there have been a significant number of rollover crashes. Some of the more recent rollover crashes are summarized on this site. As one can see, these rollover crashes have happened in a variety of locations, including in Jackson County, Washington County, Williamson County, Champaign County, and Wayne County. These rollover crashes have happened for a number of reasons and have involved a variety of vehicle types, including cars, trucks, and vans.
Rollover accidents are especially notable as they have a higher rate of fatalities than typical accidents, and they also usually happen at higher speeds.
As seen on a Safercar.gov’s (NHTSA) page regarding rollover causes:
Fatal rollover crashes are speed-related more often than fatal non-rollover crashes. Some 40% of fatal rollover crashes involved excessive speeding . Additionally, nearly ¾ of fatal rollovers took place where the posted speed limit was 55 miles per hour or higher.
Other statistics regarding rollover crashes, as stated in the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) study titled “Epidemiology, Causes and Prevention of Car Rollover Crashes with Ejection” (2014):
As the majority of ROCs take places in the highways, it poses serious road safety concerns. Around 220,000 light motor vehicles sustain ROCs in the US annually involving 350,000 vehicle occupants. These crashes reported 9000 occupants deaths, 14,100 serious injuries whereas, minor to moderate injuries were reported in 224,000 victims of these crashes. Despite the fact that ROCs constitute only 2.2% of all MVCs; it represents about 33% of the annual injury costs in the US (around $40 billion).
Of particular concern during a rollover crash is whether any of the vehicle occupants are ejected, i.e. are thrown from the vehicle. As one would expect, such ejections have the potential to be extremely traumatic in nature, and often lead to serious, life-threatening injuries if not fatalities.
As to what type of injuries can occur, the list is extensive. As seen in the NCBI study cited above:
It has been reported that 50% and 10% of the harm due to ROCs is related to the head and neck and spines injuries, respectively.
The potential for a rollover accident is inherent in any vehicle travel. As seen in many publications, human actions and driver behavior play a major role in whether vehicle rollovers occur.
Safercar.gov (NHTSA), on its Rollover Causes pages, states:
Rollovers are complex crash incidents and are particularly violent in nature. Rollovers, more so than other types of crashes, reflect the interaction of the driver, road, vehicle, and environmental factors. So while vehicle type does play a significant role, other factors such as driver behavior and road and environmental conditions can also cause a vehicle to roll over.
The major causes listed on the page are:
- Vehicle Type
- Routine Driver
- Single-Vehicle Crashes
On the SaferCar.gov Rollover page – which includes animations – the page lists ways to “Minimize Risk and Injury” of accidents in which the vehicle overturns or rolls. These measures largely involve driver behavior, and include avoiding panic steering (which often follows “oversteering,”) know proper maneuvering, Tire Pressure and Loading Limits, and Use Caution On Rural Roads.
Under “avoiding panic steering” it states the following:
Many rollovers occur when drivers overcorrect their steering as a panic reaction to an emergency—or even to a wheel going off the pavement’s edge. At highway speeds, overcorrecting or excessive steering can cause the driver to lose control, which can force the vehicle to slide sideways and roll over.
Factors outside of driver behavior include vehicle design, which can also lead some vehicles to be more likely to roll over than others.
As well, whether a vehicle has certain safety features, ranging from seat belts to electronic stability control (ESC), can play a role in the possibility and severity of such rollover accidents.
The NHTSA press release of May 16, 2012 press release, titled “USDOT Proposes Groundbreaking Rule to Prevent Rollover Crashes for Nation’s Large Trucks, Buses” states the following regarding ESC:
An extensive NHTSA research program to determine how available stability control technologies affect crashes involving commercial vehicles found ESC systems to be the most effective tool for reducing the propensity for heavy vehicles to rollover or lose control. With sensors that monitor vehicle movement and steering, ESC can help mitigate rollover incidents by using automatic computer-controlled braking, and also aid the driver in addressing severe understeer or oversteer conditions that can lead to loss of control. NHTSA estimates that a standard requiring ESC on the nation’s large trucks and large buses would prevent up to 2,329 crashes, eliminate an estimated 649 to 858 injuries, and prevent between 49 and 60 fatalities a year.
“We’ve already seen how effective stability control can be at reducing rollovers in passenger vehicles—the ability for this type of technology to save lives is one reason it is required on cars and light-duty trucks beginning with model year 2012,” said NHTSA Administrator David Strickland. “Now, we’re expanding our efforts to require stability enhancing technology on the many large trucks, motorcoaches, and other large buses on our roadways.”
Should you be involved in a rollover crash – or any other significant crash involving injuries – there are various critical steps you should take. These steps can be broadly categorized into those involving medical and legal issues.
From a medical perspective, protecting one’s health is paramount. There are many reasons to get a complete medical examination following a vehicle accident. Of particular note, even if you don’t think you have been seriously injured during the crash, there are certain injuries – some serious, including those that may prove fatal – that have symptoms that may take a while to become apparent. These injuries include head injuries – including concussions and other types of traumatic brain injury (TBI) – as well as internal bleeding.
There are many recommended steps one should take after any auto accident in order to protect one’s legal rights and maximize injury compensation. Many people talk with a car accident lawyer regarding the accident and its injuries. This discussion is best done shortly after the accident, as there are many actions one should take and one should avoid in dealing with many of the accident issues.
The Elman Law Group, LLC has been handling Illinois personal injury cases for over 20 years. During this time period, Elman Law Group has handled over 10,000 personal injury cases, and the law firm has established a reputation for being successful trial attorneys. This success has involved a broad range of lawsuit types and sizes, including many types of automobile and other vehicle accidents.
Tony Elman, Lead Attorney of the Elman Law Group, offer those who have been injured in an accident a free legal consultation to discuss the accident injuries and other harm that has occurred. He can also discuss how much your case may be worth – and legal remedies for getting this compensation. Tony Elman can be reached at (773) 392-8182.
Elman Law Group works on Illinois personal injury cases on a contingency basis — this means that clients are not charged legal fees unless and until the client receives accident compensation.