On any given day in Bradenton or throughout Florida’s Suncoast, cars, motorcycles, vans, SUVs, and massive freight-hauling trucks make their way down Southwest Florida’s streets and highways. The state’s warm weather and sunny skies make this the ideal place for both scenic and work-related driving.
Unfortunately, that also means that with more vehicles on the road at any given moment, there’s also a greater risk of an error that can lead to an accident. Sometimes that’s just a minor “fender bender” that’s more inconvenient than anything else. Other times, however, it can lead to a rollover, which can be serious for everyone involved.
What Is A Rollover?
A “rollover” is, as the name implies, a situation where a vehicle’s wheels leave the road and the vehicle can tumble or “rollover,” which may result in landing back on the wheels, on the side, or even upside down depending on the forces involved in the accident.
Rollovers can occur for several reasons; a vehicle turning too quickly on a slippery surface, for example, can roll over when its forward motion conflicts with the attempt to move in another direction. A freight truck traveling over speed limits and turning too quickly is one scenario where this occurs.
One reason for many rollovers on roads is when a vehicle “trips” on something on the surface. At sufficient speed, tripping can destabilize the balance of the entire vehicle, and again, the forward motion of the vehicle clashes with a sudden change in direction that causes a rollover. Everyday objects on a road that can cause a rollover include:
• Steep slopes
• Hitting curbs
• Guard rail impact
• Potholes in the road
• Straying into a soft shoulder
• Uneven road surfaces
• Collisions with other vehicles
The Human Factor
Unfortunately, the most common cause for rollovers is human error. SUVs, for example, are more prone to rollovers even without tripping due to being a bad combination of being both taller, heavier vehicles with a higher center of gravity. This means any sudden swerve, such as to avoid hitting something on the road or overcorrecting so as not to miss a highway turnoff, can result in a rollover.
The majority of rollovers on roads are usually due to driver error and taking turns too quickly, at unsafe speeds for the vehicle’s mass. However, distracted driving is often the culprit in these incidents. Even if a vehicle doesn’t roll over, should it collide with another vehicle, the physics of that impact may cause the other vehicle to begin a rollover.
A rollover accident can inflict various injuries based on external factors, such as the speed of vehicles involved in the collision and the point of impact, as well as internal factors, such as whether airbags are installed in the vehicle or seatbelts are worn.
People inside a vehicle experiencing rollover can impact each other, different parts of the car and any other objects that may be in the car. A backseat with glass bottles of liquor, for example, can become dangerous in a rollover if they break and hit passengers.
Some of the more common possible injuries during a rollover include:
• Chest/Rib damage
• Broken bones
• Traumatic brain injury
• Skull fractures
• Spinal cord damage
• Internal organ damage
• Seat belt restraint injuries
Among many others. Unfortunately, the possible injury outcomes are virtually limitless based on the conditions and can become even more severe if children or the elderly are in the vehicle. For the fortunate, even if they are serious, the injuries may sometimes still result in a full recovery, even though wages may be lost due to the inability to work while recovering.
On the more extreme end, however, injuries may be crippling and permanent, such as becoming disabled and requiring the use of a wheelchair or the amputation of limbs to severely injured to be recovered. In the worst-case scenarios, the death of a loved one may be the result.
It’s easy for people with no fault in causing an accident to get caught up in collisions or other drivers’ inattentiveness and find themselves in a rollover situation. However, in some cases, environmental issues, such as an improperly maintained road, can cause an alert, defensive driver obeying the speed limit to still get caught in a rollover accident.
In incidents where someone is the victim of a rollover accident but is not at fault for causing that accident, the law makes it possible to seek compensation from those responsible. Injuries resulting from a car accident are not considered criminal acts, but that doesn’t mean they are legal and can’t be punished.
If you or someone you know who lives in the Southwest Florida area has been injured or killed in a rollover accident due to someone else’s negligence, get legal help. Talk to a rollover accident attorney about your situation to get the compensation you are owed.