While all car accidents can be scary, there are very few that are as innately terrifying as a flipped car crash, both because of the severity of the crash as well as the potential for serious injuries.
What is A Rollover Car Accident?
A rollover car accident, also called a flipped car accident, is an accident where a vehicle either rolls over onto its side or flips completely over so that the car is sitting upside-down. In some cases, the car may roll over multiple times before coming to rest either right side up, upside down, or on its side.
How Does A Car Flip Over in an Accident?
There are a few ways that a car can flip over in an accident.
- Tripped Rollovers: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) classifies rollovers as either “tripped” or “not tripped”. 95% of single vehicle rollovers are considered “tripped” which means that the vehicle’s tires were tripped by an obstacle such as a curb, a steep slope, guard rail, or sank into soft soil as the car left the road. This causes the vehicle to become unbalanced, which increases the chances of flipping over in an accident.
- Not Tripped Rollovers: Not tripped rollovers are much less common, and they usually involve top heavy vehicles with high centers of gravity, like SUV’s, Jeeps, and pickup trucks. Often, but not always, these vehicles are trying to avoid causing or getting into an accident when they flip over. These vehicles can also flip if they take a turn too fast.
- Faulty Tires: Your tires help you maintain contact with the road and give the vehicle traction to keep going. If one of your tires is faulty, it may cause you to lose control over the vehicle, which can lead to the vehicle becoming off balance and flipping. Additionally, if a tire blows out, it can become its own tripping hazard, which can cause your vehicle to roll over.
- Multi-Vehicle Crashes: Even though flipped car accidents rarely occur with more than one car, multi-vehicle accidents can also cause rollovers. This often occurs when one vehicle hits another vehicle and either tips over a top-heavy vehicle or causes an obstacle that the vehicle can trip over.
- Roadways: Roadways themselves can contribute to flipped car accidents if they are not maintained well and have potholes or other issues that can be a tripping hazard. Another factor that may increase the likelihood of rollover accidents is a lack of safety rails.
What Do You Do in a Rollover Accident?
There are a few steps that you can take to help keep yourself safe during a rollover accident. It’s important to note that having your seatbelt on will dramatically increase your chances of survival with less serious injuries.
- If you suspect your car is about to roll over, remove your feet from the brake pedals to help decrease the chance of broken ankles. If you are certain you cannot regain control of the car, let go of the steering wheel and cross your arms across your chest. Press yourself as deep into the seat as you can. Make sure not to lean forwards as the car rolls over because it will increase your chances of a traumatic brain injury or broken bones.
- Once the car has stopped rolling, take stock of your position. Figure out if the car is sideways, upside down, or upright. Brace your feet against the floor to try and stabilize yourself. Move your hands up and down your body to check for pain, injuries, cuts, broken glass, and other serious injuries, particularly on your head. Have your passengers do the same.
- Take a few deep breaths to calm yourself down.
- Turn off your engine.
- Call 911 immediately. If anyone is injured, do not try to move them.
- If no one is seriously injured, plan your exit strategy. If the car is completely upside down, brace yourself with one hand against the ceiling and both feet on the floor. Undo your seatbelt very carefully and check the windows to see where your safest exit is, keeping in mind that it may be through the windshield. If the integrity of the car’s skeleton isn’t compromised, you may be able to open the door. If not, you may need to break a window, making sure to clear it of any glass or debris. If your car is sideways, do the same, except bracing yourself against the door.
- Get out of the car yourself first before you assist any passengers.
- Once all passengers have left the vehicle, move away from it quickly in case of a fuel leak.
- Stay off the road and on the shoulder, as far away from traffic as possible, while you wait for help to arrive.
What Percentage of Rollovers are Fatal?
Across the USA, rollovers account for about 3% of accidents. However, they are the deadliest type of accident, causing about 20% of all passenger vehicle fatalities. About 36% of rollover crashes result in a fatality.
Resources Near Me
If you have been in a flipped car crash and need to have your car repaired, here are some mechanics who can help.
Phoenix Best Mobile Mechanic
Auto Repair 2 You
Action Auto Repair