Defective tires or vehicle design may cause rollover accidents
Automobile rollover accidents are the cause of approximately a quarter of traffic-related fatalities even though they account for less than one percent of total crashes in the United States.
What causes a rollover accident?
Most single-vehicle rollover accidents occur with a trip. The vehicle leaves the roadway and the tires might sink into soft soil or the tires strike a guardrail or curb. Other common trip dangers are pavement surface changes, snow banks or steep ditches. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that 95 percent of rollover accidents happen because high tripping force applied to the tires causes the vehicle to roll.
Un-tripped rollovers do not happen as frequently. Usually these rollovers result when a driver makes a quick avoidance maneuvers while traveling at a high speed. For example, if a deer crosses the road, a driver may swerve to avoid the deer, but ends up rolling the vehicle. Sometimes, the rollover accident can leave a driver or passengers more severely injured than striking the deer head-on.
Tire and design defects can cause severe injury
A tire blow, caused by an incorrectly pressurized tire or defective tire can also cause a rollover. Cars from the factory generally are overinflated and the dealer will check the pressure and reduce it if needed before delivery. In some cases, a dealer misses this step, which can affect handling.
In other cases, a manufacturer may be aware of tire problems such as tread separation and fail to react appropriately. A Pennsylvania auto defect lawsuit is one way to hold a manufacturer liable when it knew a dangerous condition existed and failed to remedy the situation. Auto manufacturers must adequately test products to make sure the design is safe. When they fail to do so, they put lives at risk.
Rollover accidents involve great force, which can pop out windshields or crush roofs. Even when drivers and passengers wear their seatbelts, they still risk severe injury. Injuries from these crashes may include paralysis, traumatic brain injury and loss of limb.
In one case, a Ford Explorer SUV blew a tire and rolled. The high center of gravity and narrow wheelbase likely caused the instability that prompted the crash. A passenger was wearing his seatbelt, but was partially ejected when the seat belt failed. A products liability lawsuit against Ford and the supplier of the seatbelt system alleged that the Explorer had a defective seat belt system that resulted in serious injuries to the passenger.
Because rollover accidents usually only involve one vehicle, some may assume no remedy exists. If a defective design or faulty tire caused the accident there may be recourse against a manufacturer. These are, however, complicated claims. Finding the defect and showing the manufacturer knew it posed a risk is tricky. Contact an experienced Pennsylvania personal injury attorney to discuss the facts of your case and to ensure no one else suffers a similar accident or injury.