If you have an SUV, you’re probably aware of the term ‘rollover,’ as this is one of the possible situations that occur in SUVs and other large-sized vehicles. Although not a very common occurrence – it happens in approximately 3% of serious accidents – rollovers are responsible for nearly 30% of individuals riding in the passenger seat of a vehicle. How do rollovers happen?
Under the appropriate situation, a rollover can happen to any kind of vehicle. However, pickups and SUVs, and vans are more prone to this mishap because of their narrow and tall built. Their center of gravity is higher, and therefore they are heavier on top. Forces coming from the side move the COG to one side, which may tremendously affect the vehicle’s balance. When a driver does a very sharp turn and then quickly overcorrects the opposite way, the lateral forces increase, including fast changes in direction. These changes can create a pendulum effect, eventually causing larger swings from side to side, and then finally loses control.
On the other hand, when only one vehicle rolls over, it is not commonly caused by a steering maneuver, but it is because of the vehicle tripping into something, for instance, when it veers into a curb or a roadside. According to government statistics, more than 90% of single rollovers are caused by trips. Sometimes, a vehicle simply leans in a way that a tire’s wall is deformed, and the wheel rim hits the pavement, causing a tip-up. This is called a tripped rollover. Ultimately, tire grip plays a critical role in rollovers. The tires should have sufficient grip that allows the four wheels to be planted on the ground.
How To Prevent A Rollover
In truth, one must be focused on his drive to avoid an accident. However, to be specific, what is necessary is common sense and regular vehicle maintenance to increase your chances of preventing a rollover. Here are some simple but very important tips.
Always Check The Tires. Make sure that all four tires are equally inflated to the appropriate pressure for the vehicle. They must be in good form. Do not replace tires with another type. They should be the same or similar to the vehicle’s original tires.
Don’t Overload. SUVs and pickups decrease their stability when they are overloaded. It is always a bad habit to place too much load on the roof of your vehicle. Limit yourself to the loading guidelines of your vehicle manufacturer. The heaviest loads should be placed on the floor closer to the middle of the vehicle.
Buy A Brand-New Vehicle. It’s probably because newer vehicles are constantly updated with safer structures that make brand-new vehicles better. Choose one with more airbags and more reliable electronic systems in place.
Wear Your Seat Belt At All Times. Seat belts are sometimes the only reason why a person escapes the misfortune of a rollover. They keep you planted on your seat and prevent you from being uprooted from the vehicle. In almost all crashes, it has been recorded that about 75% of people thrown out from their seats are killed.
Be Conscious Of Your Speed. No matter how experienced a driver is, there is always a slight risk of making an error, especially when one is driving too fast. Speed is a big factor in a vehicle’s tendency to roll over. The faster the vehicle is traveling, the more severe the rollover in case it does happen.
Following these simple tips and keeping them in mind while you’re driving your SUV, your pickup truck, or any kind of vehicle will keep you safer and more secure as a driver. Remember that although the thrill can be fulfilling, your life – and your family’s life – is more important. So drive safely.