Common Myths about Rollover Car Accidents
Every time you get into your car, you probably see the rollover risk warning on your sun visor. Despite this constant reminder, many of us don’t think about these scary accidents until they happen close to home. After February’s accident here in Wilmington, we wanted to explain seven common myths surrounding rollover car accidents:
Myth: Rollover accidents are extremely rare, so I don’t need to worry about them.
Fact: Rollovers are rare – but they’re extremely deadly. According to the Insurance Instititute for Highway Safety (IIHS), while they only account for 1% of all crashes, those crashes account for 33% of passenger vehicle occupant deaths.
Myth: Rollover accidents only happen when people in big cars try to make fast turns.
Fact: While aggressive turns can cause rollovers, they are one of many possible causes. The most common is hitting “tripping” objects: curbs, guardrails, tree stumps, or even soft, uneven ground that causes the vehicle to “trip” and roll over.
Myth: SUVs and trucks are bigger and therefore safer than other cars.
Fact: There are some circumstances where SUVs and pickups are safer than sedans. Rollover accidents are not one of them. SUVs are the most likely to roll over, followed by pickups and then lastly, cars. In 2016, 47% of people who died in an SUV accident were in rollover accidents compared to 43% for pickups and 22% for cars.
Myth: SUVs and trucks are only more likely to be in deadly rollover because of their size.
Fact: It’s true that the physical build of SUVs and pickups contributes to why they’re so likely to roll over. But there are additional reasons why those vehicles have deadlier rollover accidents.
Drivers of these vehicles can have a false sense of security from riding so high above the road, which leads them to drive aggressively and wear seatbelts less frequently. These large cars are also more popular on rural roads where more rollovers happen.
Myths: Rollovers don’t happen anymore because of ESC.
Fact: The introduction of electronic stability control (ESC) has helped prevent cars from skidding and losing control, which can lead to rollover accidents. Unfortunately, ESC won’t always ensure a driver maintains control, especially when tire failure or loss of traction due to bad weather is a factor. ESC also won’t help stop rollovers that occur after impact with another vehicle or roadside obstacle.
It’s also important to note that only cars with model year 2012 and later are required to have this feature – if you are purchasing an older car, it’s not guaranteed to have ESC.
Myth: I have a big, new car with a strong roof. I’ll be fine if I’m ever in a rollover accident.
Fact: Multiple studies have shown that having a stronger roof helps protects passengers in rollover accidents. But the roof strength standard created in 1973 wasn’t updated until 2009. Only cars that are from the 2017 model year or later adhere to this standard.
Myth: Cars just keep on getting safer. The number of rollover deaths should be going down.
Fact: Newer SUVs do have lower rollover death rates than older models. However, as SUVs have become increasingly popular the number of fatalities from rollover accidents has continued to increase.
From these facts, it is clear that rollover accidents are a real danger to drivers here in Wilmington. If you or a loved one finds themselves in one of these accidents, call attorney Richard Flexner. He knows how these accidents happen and how to make things right. Make your appointment today.