Mission Viejo Rollover Accident Lawyer
If a vehicle tips onto its side or roof at any time during a crash, it is considered a rollover accident. Although vehicle rollovers are infrequent compared to the number of automobile-related accidents each year, the fatalities from these accidents are much higher. Due to the high impact, the sustained injuries can be much more severe compared to other types of vehicle crashes.
Rollovers and SUVs
33% of passenger vehicle occupant deaths were due to rollovers in 2013. Of these deaths, 79% of them occurred in either a sport utility vehicle (SUV) or a pickup truck.
SUVs and pickup trucks sit higher off the ground, causing their center of gravity to be higher than a regular car’s. This increases the likelihood of a rollover accident. While the total number of rollover accidents has decreased since 1978, cars have had a consistently lower percentage of rollover deaths than SUVs.
What Causes Rollovers?
Rollover accidents may be caused by many incidents, most of which include hitting an object that immediately changes the vehicle’s speed. Transitioning from the asphalt on the road to the soft soil of the shoulder, for example, can cause a car to slow down rapidly, which may result in a flip. Accidents may also be caused by a sudden sharp turn where both the car’s direction and speed change quickly.
Here in Orange County, we do not often experience inclement weather. Our average rainfall is 10-14 inches, which is about 20 inches below the national average if you do not include Hawaii and Alaska. So when it does rain, it is important to have heightened vigilance on the road.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the first ten minutes of rain are the most dangerous. It mixes with motor oil that has been left on the road by vehicles, making the roadway even more slippery. A sharp turn in slippery conditions can cause a flip.
Inclement weather may be rare in Orange County, but we are very familiar with tire blowouts. Between the 5 and the 405, we have hundreds of cars traveling on miles of freeway and see blowouts or tire remnants every day. If travelling at high speeds, a tire blowout can be disastrous. It can change both the speed and direction of your car and cause a rollover.
There are several factors that cause tire blowouts, including improper inflation, punctures, old tires, and overloading the car. Blowouts may also be caused by tire manufacturer defects.
While we often hear of vehicle recalls, it is also important to stay up to date with tire recalls. There have been several major tire brand recalls in the past. Knowing if the wheels on your car have been affected and consequently replacing them may save your life.
Here are several tips to ensure your tires are safe to drive on:
- Make sure they are properly inflated to the correct psi. Psi is often indicated on the sidewall of your tires; a pressure gauge can tell you what psi your tires currently have.
- Check your tires for nails or any other items that may have punctured them.
- Get your tires rotated and balanced every 5,000 to 8,000 miles. Also make sure either you or a mechanic check the tread on your tires regularly. Driving on old tires increases the chance of a blowout.
- Do not overload your vehicle to the point where it is too heavy for the tires.
- Keep up to date on tire recalls and ensure you are not driving on defective tires.
Irvine | Costa Mesa | Mission Viejo
Tire defects may not always be recalled; that is why it is important for you to contact an experienced lawyer should you have a blowout. At Mann & Elias, we have a background in and understanding of product liability cases. We can help you determine if your blowout was a defect and if you have grounds for a product liability case. See our product liability page for more information.