Although rollovers can happen to almost any vehicle type, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) statistics indicate that trucks and other vehicles with a high center of gravity are most likely to roll over.
On August 15, 2014 at approximately 3:50 a.m., a truck pulling a trailer loaded with nearly 38,000 pounds of empty glass bottles was traveling southbound on Interstate 5 near milepost 44. The truck and trailer traveled onto the right shoulder where the driver over-corrected, causing the trailer and truck to roll onto their sides. Both vehicles then slid over a hundred feet before coming to rest.
Excessive Steering Causes Vehicle Instability
Rollovers tend to occur when drivers overcorrect their steering as a panic reaction to an emergency or a wheel going off the pavement’s edge. At highway speeds, overcorrecting or excessive steering can cause a driver to lose control, forcing the vehicle to slide sideways and roll over.
Gradually Reduce Speed to Maintain Vehicle Control
Rollovers are more likely to occur on undivided, two-way rural roads and highways or divided roads with no barriers. When a vehicle goes off a rural road, it can overturn when it strikes a ditch or embankment or is tripped by soft soil. If your vehicle leaves the roadway, gradually reduce speed. Then, ease the vehicle back onto the roadway.
Keep Tires Inflated and in Good Condition
Improperly inflated and worn tires inhibit your ability to maintain vehicle control and may cause your vehicle to slide sideways on wet or slippery pavement, causing it to slide off the road and roll over. Maintain tires properly and replace them when necessary.
Don’t Overload Your Vehicle
Consult your vehicle’s owner’s manual to determine the maximum safe load and proper load distribution. Any load placed on the roof will be above the vehicle’s center of gravity, and will increase it’s chance of rolling over.