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Rollover Accidents in Large Vehicles Have High Fatality Rates

New Proposed Federal Regulations to Curb Rollover Accidents Among Commercial Vehicles

Rollover car crashes are the deadliest type of car accident. According to an article in the Accident Reconstruction Journal, rollover accidents cause one-third of all fatalities in the U.S. Approximately 50 percent of rollovers in passenger trucks and SUVs involve a fatality; for commercial trucks the rate increases to 60 percent.

In an attempt to curb these deadly accidents among commercial trucks and buses, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration proposed a first-ever federal safety standard requiring electronic stability control systems for large commercial vehicles. The NHTSA has already instituted similar regulations for SUVs, pickup trucks and other passenger vehicles, which went into effect in 2012. The NHTSA has stated it believes those regulations have proven effective for passenger vehicles.

The NHTSA estimates the new regulations could reduce rollover crashes by 56 percent each year for large commercial vehicles and 14 percent of loss-of-control crashes. This reduction could prevent up to 2,329 crashes, 858 injuries and 60 fatalities each year.

ESC systems reduce the risk of rollover or loss-of-control crashes by monitoring vehicle movement and steering: If needed, the ESC automatically helps the driver to keep control of the vehicle by braking or correcting over-steering or under-steering.

The NHTSA rules would take effect two or four years after they are adopted, depending on the type of vehicle. The technology is already available and used in various vehicles on the road today.

Causes of Rollover Crashes

Certain types of large vehicles have a propensity for rollover crashes. Vehicles that have a high center of gravity and narrow width, such as sport utility vehicles and trucks, are unstable in sharp turns. Further, driving over the speed limit, driving with a high blood alcohol content and not using a seatbelt have all been implicated as causing a high number of fatalities in rollover crashes.

Contact an Attorney

People who have been in a rollover accident should contact an experienced personal injury attorney to discuss the possibility of compensation for lost wages and medical expenses. If a loved one has died in a rollover crash, the family of the deceased may also receive compensation for its tragic loss.