Factors That Increase the Risk of a Rollover Crash in New Jersey

Posted on behalf of James Lynch on August 30, 2023  in Car Accident News. Updated on September 6, 2023

photo illustration of a rolled-over vehicle in a ditchRollover crashes cause 30 percent of all traffic deaths, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), yet they account for a tiny percentage of all motor vehicle accidents. Understanding the factors that increase the likelihood of a rollover crash could help you avoid being injured in one.

At Lynch Law Firm, PC, we explain the common driver errors and contributing factors that can lead to a rollover crash and the steps you can take to avoid them. We also discuss what you can do if a negligent driver injures you or a loved one in a rollover car accident.

We have been helping injury victims for decades, including those injured in rollover crashes, head-on collisions, T-bone accidents and more. Our experienced vehicle crash attorneys in New Jersey have a history of proven results, and we are prepared to fight for maximum compensation on your behalf.

Request your FREE case review today. (800) 518-0508

What Is a Rollover Crash?

As the name implies, a rollover crash is what happens when a vehicle either flips onto its roof or tips onto its side during a collision. That said, these crashes are further classified in two ways: as either a tripped rollover or an untripped rollover.

Tripped Rollover

A tripped rollover can occur when the vehicle interacts with external factors or obstacles. When a vehicle hits something external, it creates a sudden increase in lateral force, triggering the vehicle to flip over and roll. This type of vehicle rollover is the most common. External factors that can cause a vehicle to rollover include:

  • Various obstacles, such as a guardrail, another vehicle, a median barrier, a curb or uneven pavement, such as what you see during road construction.
  • Soft soil, gravel, ditches or other uneven surfaces could cause the vehicle to dig into the ground; if it becomes caught, it can trigger a rollover.
  • Sudden evasive maneuvers, such as a driver trying to avoid hitting a car entering his or her lane of traffic.
  • Colliding with other vehicles – especially with side-impact collisions, which could cause the vehicle to tip over and roll due to the force and direction of impact.

Tripped rollovers may also result from a side impact with another vehicle, or it can be the result of tires digging into soft or uneven ground.

Untripped Rollover

An untripped rollover crash can occur without any external factors or obstacles. In this type of rollover, it is the internal forces and dynamics causing the vehicle to overturn. Most often, the factors impacting this type of rollover include high-speed turns, abrupt maneuvers or the vehicle’s overall design and stability. Untripped rollovers are especially dangerous to vehicle occupants, as they may get thrown around the cabin of the vehicle. If occupants are not restrained with a seatbelt, they could be ejected. Often the victims of untripped rollovers are far more likely to suffer catastrophic or fatal injuries.

What Are Some of the Most Common Causes of Rollover Crashes?

There are a number of behaviors and circumstances that can lead to a rollover crash, such as:

  • Driver errors
  • Taking a turn too fast (cornering), especially in certain vehicles
  • Oversized or deep potholes
  • Distracted driving or being inattentive
  • Striking a curb, guardrail or the side of another vehicle
  • Oversteering, overcorrection – especially when combined with speeding and other risk factors
  • Inexperienced drivers
  • Unexpected road hazards, such as uneven pavement, gravel, debris or other obstacles in the road
  • Poorly marked signage around road construction or detours
  • Lack of traction

What Other Factors May Increase the Likelihood of a Rollover Crash?

These additional factors further increase the possibility of a rollover crash occurring:

Vehicle Type

Certain vehicles, especially those with a higher center of gravity, are much more susceptible to a rollover crash. These vehicles include:

  • SUVs
  • Pickup trucks
  • Minivans
  • Other vehicles that are taller or narrower

Vehicle Speed and Maneuvering

Rollover crashes often happen at fairly high speeds. This is especially true when drivers take sharp turns or attempt evasive maneuvers to avoid a road hazard. It is the combination of both speed and the sudden change in direction that can cause the driver to lose control and head into a rollover.

Routine Driving Maneuvers

The drivers of most vehicles involved in a single-vehicle rollover crash resulting in a fatality were engaged in routine driving maneuvers. For instance, approaching a turn, taking a curve or driving straight.

Road Location

Rollover crashes, especially those involving a single vehicle, happen more often on rural roads. The biggest reason is that these roads may be poorly maintained, have no barriers and are more dangerous overall. There may also be less visibility, especially at night. Other issues may include badly placed signage or inadequate warnings about potential road hazards, such as upcoming curves.

State of the Driver

Drivers who are impaired by alcohol, drugs or other substances are more likely to speed or exhibit aggressive driving behavior. Drowsy drivers may easily miss a road obstacle, sharp turn or other road hazards.

Vehicle Condition

Caring for your tires, including replacing them as needed and keeping them properly inflated, is a critical step in avoiding a rollover crash. Make sure your vehicle is not top-heavy, such as when loading cargo for a trip or transporting items for a move. Poor weight distribution can impact a vehicle’s stability during certain maneuvers.

How Can You Avoid a Rollover Crash?

As a driver, you can avoid causing a rollover crash and make your journey safer by taking these steps:

  • Do not drive while impaired by alcohol, drugs or other substances
  • Follow posted speed limits, especially in poor weather, while taking turns or changing lanes
  • Consider road, visibility and weather conditions while driving
  • Do not drive with an over-loaded or top-heavy vehicle
  • Check your tires to be sure they are properly inflated and your tire tread is not worn
  • Make sure your windshield remains clean so you can more easily see any road hazards
  • Do not drive drowsy or allow yourself to become distracted

Injured in a Rollover Crash? Call Our Law Offices for Legal Help Today

At Lynch Law, PC., we are dedicated to helping victims who have been injured due to the negligence of others.

Not sure if you have a valid case? We offer a completely free case review. Simply call our law offices anytime, 24/7, and we can determine whether you may have legal options for seeking compensation for your damages.

If you have a case and we represent you, there are zero upfront costs to pay. We only get paid if you do.

We are here to help. (800) 518-0508

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