Complete Guide to Car Rollover Accidents


Cassandra Nguy

Rollover car accidents are one of the most dangerous types of crashes you can end up in. The NHTSA reported that approximately 2,694 crashes were fatal rollover accidents in 2020. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety reported a total of 7,640 passenger vehicle occupants died in rollover crashes in 2021.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) over 1.35 million people are killed on roadways each year around the world. Each day, almost 3,700 people are killed globally due to auto accidents. More than 50% of those killed are:

Get well as soon as possible before pursuing financial compensation after a rollover accident. The main priority after suffering such brutal injuries would be to recover. Only after should you call an auto accident attorney and get the justice you deserve.

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What is a Car Rollover Accident?

Car rollover accidents happen when vehicles lose traction on the road and topple to the side, possibly flipping multiple times before slowing down. For instance, a car driving too fast on a rainy day may lose traction and hydroplane, causing the car to flip over.

These accidents are especially deadly when passengers aren’t wearing seatbelts. When a car starts to roll over, there’s little the occupants can do to reduce the impact.

Rollover accidents are separated into two categories depending on how the accident was caused: tripped and untripped rollovers.

Tripped Rollovers

Tripped rollovers happen when external objects cause the vehicle to roll over, like running over a pothole or striking a guardrail. The vehicle may already be sliding uncontrollably and the object in the road causes the car to roll over. The crash can become unstable as narrow objects make one side of the car accelerate upwards.

Tripped rollovers may also be caused by other cars unsafely merging into multiple lanes. Another crash like a sideswipe may have developed into a tripped rollover as drivers lost control of their vehicles. Head-on collisions with another vehicle may cause a tripped rollover as well.

Untripped Rollovers

Untripped rollover accidents occur when a vehicle’s own movements cause itself to flip and roll over. A common example would be if a pickup truck makes too sharp a turn during a rainy day. The truck’s momentum counteracts the forces of gravity acting down, causing the truck to flip over.

These rollovers happen when vehicles drive through sharp turns where centripetal, centrifugal, and gravity forces can destabilize the vehicle. Negligent driving like turning too fast at night may cause a rollover accident.

Those directly in the driver’s path are unfortunately caught in the wreckage. If you were caught, find an attorney to represent you as soon as possible. You deserve compensation for the damages inflicted unto you on the road.

What is the Most Common Cause of a Rollover Accident?

The US General Services Administration determined the most common causes for rollover accidents is caused by driver error, such as:

  • Excessive speeding – a car going from 40 mph to 60 mph causes forces to release in a crash that more than doubles
  • Distracted driving eating, drinking, texting, calling, smoking, and drowsy drivers lead to over 100,000 accidents in the US
  • Type of car – a top-heavy vehicle like a commercial truck is more likely to roll over compared to a smaller vehicle
  • Tailgating – not leaving enough space in between cars
  • Not checking traffic before merging or pulling out

How to Avoid Car Rollover Accidents

It’s important to make sure you’re driving safely with no distractions while following all traffic safety measures. This includes:

  • Wearing seatbelts
  • Following the speed limit
  • Keeping enough space in between vehicles
  • Paying attention to the road

If your car swerves uncontrollably, slow down gradually instead of attempting a full stop. Braking suddenly will actually raise your likelihood to roll over because you haven’t lessened your momentum. Stopping gradually will help you stabilize, lessening the risk for a rollover accident.

What to Do in a Rollover Accident

In the driver’s seat, it is important to stay off the road and on the shoulder away from traffic. A lot of accidents are caused due to being hit by oncoming traffic.

It’s best to stay calm in these situations, if you feel pain don’t move as that would increase the injury further. Without hurting yourself try turning off your engine. Don’t bend over or cover your head because when the airbag deploys it will cause great damage to your neck. And if possible try calling 911 and wait for an ambulance to arrive.

What Happens to Your Body in a Rollover Accident?

You face catastrophic bodily harm during a rollover accident as tremendous forces like gravity act on your body.

Rollover accidents often cause broken bones, head/neck injuries, internal injuries (organ rupture or internal bleeding), and abrasions from sharp objects. These injuries may then further lead to:

  • Chronic pain
  • Decreased mobility
  • Loss of function
  • No longer capable of movement impacting individual’s quality of life

These injuries require necessary medical treatment and rehabilitation services. This doesn’t account for the immense emotional and financial burdens placed on the affected person and their families.

Injuries to Expect After a Car Rollover Accident

The most common injuries on the body during a rollover accident are:

  • Traumatic brain injury – hitting your head during the rollover or your head moving violently, causing the brain to move back and forth in the skull
  • Spinal Cord injury – the body is crushed and moved around, placing large amounts of force on the spinal cord, in worse cases lead to paralysis
  • Burn injury – if the vehicle catches fire and the car scrapes and shatters windows/windshields, victims could be at risk from being ejected from the vehicle
  • Broken Bones – severe bone fractures and breakage in the body due to the car’s interior being crushed against the body

Types of Damages in a Car Rollover Accident

Car rollover accidents may cause significant damages to the victim and their families such as:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Medical expenses, rehabilitation, medication
  • Property and vehicle damages
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Permanent disability
  • Lost wages

It wouldn’t be right for you to pay for these expenses you didn’t cause. Team up with an auto attorney to negotiate a settlement that covers the damages you sustained resulting from this rollover accident. It’s in the insurance companies’ best interest to not give you an adequate settlement, but they have no choice if you hire an attorney.

Sue the At-Fault Driver With an Auto Accident Attorney

Experiencing a rollover accident is emotionally and physically painful and we want to help you find compensation for your losses. If you or someone you know needs an attorney to help you with your case, look no further. LegalASAP is connected with 500+ firms and is available 24/7 to answer any of your questions.

Fill out this free short evaluation form and get a free consultation or call us at 888-927-3080. We understand there was a lot more lost than gain, which is why we are here to help!

Plenty of our attorneys work with contingency fees meaning there is no cost to you if the case is lost, leaving no risk to you!

Cassandra Nguy

Cassandra Tran Nguy is a legal writer living in Los Angeles, California. She graduated cum laude from California State University, Northridge with a B.A. in English Creative Writing and a minor in Marketing. Visit her online profile at