Antioch Resident Killed in Rollover Accident
I’m Ed Smith, an Antioch car accident lawyer. Recently, an Antioch resident died in a rollover crash on Highway 4 in Contra Costa County. According to the California Highway Patrol (CHP), the man was alone in his vehicle when the car crash occurred.
The crash occurred shortly after 10:00 a.m. on March 2, when a man driving a Mazda sedan traveling eastbound on Highway 4 veered off the roadway. The vehicle traveled down an embankment and rolled over, police said. The 57-year-old driver was thrown from the vehicle and was killed. The man’s name was not released at the time of this report pending family notification. The cause of the accident is still under investigation, and it is uncertain whether alcohol or drugs were involved. Traffic on Highway 4, lane three, was blocked in the vicinity of the accident.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, most rollovers, as in this crash, are single vehicle accidents. The agency states that in more than half of single-vehicle rollover accidents, the driver makes no attempt to avoid the crash. Speed is cited as an important factor in such accidents with the majority happening on roads with a speed limit of 55 or higher and lacking a center barrier. The majority of drivers in rollover crashes were described as males less than 40 years old.
Incidence of Rollover Crashes
While passenger car rollovers still account for the greatest number of this type of crash, the number of passenger car rollovers is decreasing while the number of light truck rollovers is increasing. The incidence of SUV rollover crashes has doubled since the early 1990s. In part, this may be due to the wider use of SUVs or defects in the design of such vehicles.
Fatalities in Rollover Crashes
The incidence of fatalities in rollover accidents is high with 47 percent occurring with SUVs, vans and other light trucks and 22 percent with passenger vehicles. NHTSA has said that the severity of injuries with a rollover accident is second to head-on crashes. Without the use of seat belts or restraints, rollovers often result in the individual being ejected from the vehicle. Alternately, the roof can collapse on the occupants.
Design and Defects in Rollover Accidents
According to studies, 95 percent of rollovers involve “tripping.” This occurs when the front tires’ forward velocity is disrupted on the vehicle. The higher center of gravity and narrower width in light trucks compared to passenger vehicles, particularly SUVs, accounts for much of the problem.
Let’s look at what happens in a left-hand turn. When the vehicle is turning left, the force increases on the outside tires. As long as the inside or driver-side tires stay on the pavement, the load is balanced. However, if the driver-side tires are lifted off the ground, the weight is no longer distributed evenly. In such a case, hitting a bump in the road can cause the vehicle to roll over. The wider the vehicle base, the less chance this will happen even at higher speeds.
Another cause of rollover accidents is defective tires. In addition to defects, the way the tire grips the road is important. Manufacturers have tried to lessen the incidence of rollover accidents by decreasing the amount of “grip” a tire has, since higher grip increases lateral forces. While this does decrease the probability of rollover, it is a duel-edged sword. Lessen the grip and the tires will not stay on the road as well, which can force the vehicle into a sideways slide.
Rollover accidents happen more often when a vehicle is driven at a higher speed, particularly on a slick pavement. It is possible to argue that a driver is negligent if he or she ignored this confluence when driving an SUV under such conditions.
Since rollover lawsuits arise, in part due to design defects or defective tires, it is important to reconstruct the situation leading up to the accident. Other than vehicular defects, poorly maintained roads may be cited, since potholes or cracks in the pavement can be a causative factor.
Why a Car Accident Attorney Can Help
When an individual is involved in a rollover accident, it is important to reconstruct the steps leading up to the accident. A personal injury lawyer is able to investigate the crash to determine fault. If the accident occurred secondary to road maintenance issues and it occurred on a public road, the time available to file a claim is short. Contact an experienced attorney for more information.
Antioch Car Accident Lawyer
I’m Ed Smith, an Antioch car accident lawyer. If you’ve been injured in a rollover accident, call me at (925) 428-5220 in Antioch, or contact me toll free at (800) 404-5400 for free, friendly advice. You can also fill out my online form and you will receive a quick response.
I’ve been an attorney in California since 1982, and I work hard to make sure people receive the compensation they need and deserve.
I am a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, a group restricted to the top trial lawyers in the country. Membership is reserved for attorneys who have received settlements and verdicts for clients of $1 million and over.
To find additional information on previous cases I have resolved, see my Verdicts and Settlements page.
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Article Source: http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/Antioch-man-dies-in-crash-on-Highway-4-in-Contra-10973741.php