By Russ and Tiña De Maris
If you drive a motorized RV, your chances of a rollover are higher than if you drive a passenger car. Here, from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), is advice why rollovers happen and how to prevent them.
Rollovers are complex crash incidents and are particularly violent in nature. Rollovers, more so than other types of crashes, reflect the interaction of the driver, road, vehicle, and environmental factors. So while vehicle type does play a significant role, other factors such as driver behavior and road and environmental conditions can also cause a vehicle to roll over.
Vehicle Type — All types of vehicles can roll over. However, taller, narrower vehicles such as SUVs, pickups, vans and RVs have higher centers of gravity, and thus are more susceptible to rollover if involved in a single-vehicle crash.
Speed — Fatal rollover crashes are speed-related more often than fatal non-rollover crashes. Some 40 percent of fatal rollover crashes involved excessive speeding. Additionally, nearly three-quarters of fatal rollovers took place where the posted speed limit was 55 miles per hour or higher.
Alcohol — Nearly half of all fatal rollover crashes involve alcohol. Impairment can result from any blood alcohol concentration (BAC) above .00. Even a small amount of alcohol will negatively affect your judgment, muscular coordination and vision, making you more likely to lose control of your vehicle.
Location — Rural roads tend to be undivided and without barriers. They are thus more likely to be the scene of a fatal rollover. Almost three-quarters of fatal rollovers occur in rural areas where the posted speed limit is typically 55 miles per hour or higher.
Routine Driving — NHTSA data also suggest that over 90 percent of the vehicles in fatal, single-vehicle rollover crashes were involved in routine driving maneuvers (going straight or negotiating a curve) at the time of the crash. This further suggests that driver behavior (distraction, inattentiveness, speeding, and impaired driving) plays a significant role in rollover crashes.
Single-vehicle crashes — NHTSA data show that nearly 85 percent of all rollover-related fatalities are the result of single-vehicle crashes. This means that the majority of rollover crashes and fatalities do not involve any other vehicle besides the one that rolled over, further suggesting that driver behavior plays a significant role in rollover crashes.