Rollover Car Accidents Account for a Third of all Deaths in Traffic Accidents

One of the deadliest types of car accidents involves a rollover or a car overturning onto its side.

Roughly a third of the occupants killed in passenger vehicle accidents were in rollover crashes and 85 percent of those deaths were in single-vehicle crashes. In fact, half of all deaths resulting from single-vehicle crashes were rollover accidents. However, overall these rollover types of crashes only represent about 2 percent of all traffic accidents, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Statistics show 7,067 people died in rollover crashes out of 21,268 deaths for all types of crashes in the United States, the IIHS report said. Overall there are roughly 280,000 rollover crashes annually in the United States, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.


Typically a vehicle will overturn if it is tripped by an object such as a curb or object in the roadway. Another way this happens is when a driver makes a sudden or quick maneuver to avoid hitting an object or another vehicle. Many; times a driver who is traveling too fast upon the approach of a curve may lose control and overturn. Sometimes a distracted driver is unprepared to suddenly stop and attempts to swerve to avoid a crash causing a rollover. Drivers may also bump into a guardrail which can trip the car and cause it to overturn.

When there are multiple vehicles involved in a traffic accident it may result in a rollover crash.

Excessive speed is also a factor in 4 out of 10 rollover crashes and roughly 75 percent of fatal rollover crashes were on roadways where the speed limits were at least 55 miles per hour. It’s also typical for rollover crashes to take place on rural undivided highways.

Drinking and driving is often to blame for rollover crashes. Intoxicated drivers were involved in about half of all rollover crashes.


Statistics show that SUVs are the most likely type of vehicle to roll over. Roughly 50 percent of all deaths in SUV crashes were rollover crashes. Pickups are the next most-likely vehicle to overturn in a crash with 45 percent of all deaths in these vehicles attributed to rollover crashes. These vehicles are taller and have great ground clearance than typical cars making them more susceptible to a rollover collision.

About 24 percent of the deaths involving passenger cars are rollover crashes. These vehicles have a lower center of gravity and are less likely to overturn.


The best defense against injury or death in a rollover crash is for occupants to wear their seat belts. Roughly 63 percent of all deaths in rollover crashes involved occupants who were not wearing a safety belt.

“Wearing a seat belt is the best way to protect yourself in any type of crash, but most people who survive rollover crashes are wearing a seat belt,” said Attorney James Johnson.

People who are not securely fastened in a vehicle with a seat belt are at risk of being thrown or ejected out of the car where they can be pinned underneath or suffer blunt force injuries to their head or body. These are often not survivable injuries and for those who do survive, they may face permanent disability or severe injuries.

A person may also be protected by an airbag in some cases, but only if they are belted in the vehicle. Some vehicles are equipped with side curtain airbags that are inflated when sensors indicate a rollover is taking place. Some newer vehicles have more advanced safety features such as stronger reinforced cages or roofs that can protect a person in one of these crashes.


There is a 5-star rating system created by the NHTSA in 2001 that identifies vehicles most likely to overturn in a crash based on an engineering analysis. Vehicles with a higher risk of rollover are given fewer stars and those with the lowest risk get the most stars.


If you are injured or have lost a loved one in a rollover crash and would like to find out what your legal options are, Johnson Attorneys Group offers a free consultation at 800-235-6801.

The attorney will recommend that you seek immediate medical attention for your injuries. Our offices can help you by providing you with recommendations for some of the best qualified physicians and medical providers in California.

In the case of a wrongful death there are other priorities for surviving family members. They will need to plan a funeral for their loved one. Additionally, there are concerns about how to pay for this and medical bills. Dependents of victims of rollover crashes may wonder how they will support themselves or pay bills? These are valid concerns and your attorney can help guide you through this and demand that the insurance company compensate you for these losses and more.

The cause of the accident may be under investigation by police to determine liability, but when this is completed a police report will be available to all involved parties. This can take considerable time if there is a fatality involved or serious injuries. Attorney James Johnson will look over your police report and the facts involving your case and let you know what your options are.

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