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Semi-Truck Rollover Accident Traps Occupants

Motor vehicle and truck accidents are extremely frightening and traumatic for survivors of these crashes. When a crash goes beyond a collision and the impact causes a vehicle to flip and roll over, these accidents can be much worse for surviving victims. Not only is it extremely scary to be stuck inside a vehicle that is hurtling through the air or skidding upside down across the blacktop highway, but such high impact collisions and rollovers can create permanent and life-changing injuries resulting in long-term physical suffering, expensive medical bills, and lost wages from inability to work.

Recent news by KWQC exemplifies how dangerous rollover accidents can be. According to the article, a semi-truck rolled over on I-80 near Atkinson. Police described that the driver was traveling westbound on I-80 and came upon a curve where he over-corrected. This resulted in the driver losing control of the truck and crossing into the median. The truck then rolled over on the driver side and entrapped both the truck driver and passenger inside. Local fire and rescue services had to rush to the scene to extricate these people out of the truck and take them by ambulance for emergency care. The victims’ current condition is unknown, but the accident remains under investigation. The driver has been charged with improper lane usage, and other charges are pending.

The article describes that it was the steering over-correction that caused the semi-truck to roll over. As you know, rollover accidents are extremely dangerous, but they can be avoided with both knowing how they are caused and safety behaviors that can prevent them. According to the Advocates for Highway & Auto Safety, rollover accidents are closely related to vehicle type combined with unsafe or reckless driving behaviors. Poor road design can be an additional factor that perpetuates the likelihood of rollovers. Furthermore, rollover crashes are more likely to result in fatalities than any other type of crash. The high fatality rate is partially due to the likelihood of ejection from a vehicle during a rollover crash. In fact, ejections account for 62% of all the fatalities in rollover crashes. Additionally, the rate of serious injury (such as head injuries) in rollover crashes is 36% higher than in crashes without a rollover.

Vehicle type greatly contributes to rollover crashes, and rollover crashes are actually the leading cause of fatalities in SUVs. Due to high ground clearance and narrow width, these vehicles are top heavy and therefore likely to roll over. According to Safercar.gov, a website of the U.S. Department of Transportation, tall and narrow vehicles, like trucks and SUVs, are more likely to roll over than regular passenger cars because they have a higher center of gravity. More than 10,000 people each year are killed by rollover crashes, but there are ways to minimize risk and injury. In addition to vehicle type, speed is a significant factor too as 40% of rollover crashes involved excessive speeding, and approximately three-quarters of fatal rollovers took place where the speed limit was over 55 mph. However, when in an emergency situation where a rollover is likely to occur, it is important that drivers respond in a safe manner that can prevent a vehicle from rolling over. When drivers overcorrect their steering and panic they can lose control of the vehicle and force it to slide sideways and roll over. For that reason, it is imperative that drivers know proper maneuvering. If the vehicle leaves the roadway, a driver should not panic and overcorrect but instead gradually reduce their speed.