Why do truck rollover crashes occur?

While truck rollover accidents are less common than other types of truck accidents, they often result in fatality.

What is a truck rollover accident?

According to a National Library of Medicine report , the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) conducted a Large Truck Crash Causation Study in 2008. The study explained that when large trucks drive along a curve, centrifugal force causes the truck to lean in the opposite direction of the curve. Tractor trailers are particularly vulnerable to rollover crashes. The reason is their center of gravity is high and they frequently haul unstable loads. When the curve is steep and the truck is traveling fast, it increases the chances of tipping over.

How often do rollover accidents happen?

Out of all large truck crashes, approximately 9% are rollovers. The annual national projection of large truck crashes consists of about 141,000 large trucks. These truck crashes cause fatalities along with incapacitating and non-incapacitating injuries. An estimated 13,000 of these accidents per year are rollover crashes.

The study concluded that rollovers were the deadliest type of truck crashes.

What are common causes that underlie rollovers?

Rollovers often occur on freeway ramps and inclines. The main underlying factor of accidents is driver error, including the following:

  • Excessive speed on curves
  • Misjudging the sharpness of a curve
  • Drifting off the road
  • Abrupt counter-steering
  • Failure to adjust to the trailer’s high center of gravity
  • Physical impairment such as fatigue, drowsiness or reckless anger
  • Vehicle issues such as top heavy and poorly distributed/unsecured loads
  • Maintenance issues including poorly maintained suspension, brakes or under-inflated tires

The most significant contributor to rollover accidents is speed. Research showed speed was a factor in 45% of the crashes studied.

Have you suffered injury or lost a loved one in a rollover accident?

The Law Office of Michael R. De La Paz has helped countless families and victims recover compensation in all types of vehicle accidents. We assist clients nationwide and throughout Texas, including clients in the McAllen, Brownsville and Houston areas. Arrange a free consultation today to evaluate your potential case.