Prius Rollover on SR 49 Near Grass Valley

Prius Rollover at Wolf Road and Combie Road Intersection 

A rollover occurred on December 15 at 8:57 in the morning on SR 49 in Higgins Corner near Grass Valley. The area is halfway between Auburn and Grass Valley, where Combie Road and Wolf Road meet. According to the California Highway Patrol (CHP), the passengers and driver were still in the vehicle when the officers arrived. A tow truck was summoned to right the Prius and remove it from the accident scene.

Further Details of Prius Rollover

The CHP said that minor injuries occurred but did not elaborate on the type or whether an ambulance was needed. The reason for the accident is as yet unknown, and the CHP will be investigating the crash to determine fault. It is also unknown whether speeding or the use of drugs or alcohol was involved. 

Rollover Accidents

Rollovers are involved in less than four percent of all traffic collisions but cause roughly 35 percent of all crash fatalities. This underscores the dangers involved when a vehicle flips over. While it is true that any vehicle can flip over, the majority of rollovers occur in cars or light trucks with a high center of gravity. This includes SUVs, vans and pickups. SUVs have the highest rollover rate at 57 percent, followed by pickups at 47 percent and vans at 30 percent. By contrast, passenger vehicles rollover at a rate of 23 percent.

Another problem besides a high center of gravity in SUVs and pickups is their narrow width as measured by the gap between the left and right tires. Additionally, trucks and SUVs are driven on rural roads or those that are unpaved. 

Driver Error Is Not the Only Cause of a Rollover Crash

Driver error, such as distracted driving, inattention to signage, cargo placement, or oversteering, is a common cause of rollovers. However, there are other reasons a rollover occurs. These include:

  • Speeding: Traveling above the speed limit or faster than road conditions allow is a frequent cause of rollover accidents, with 40 percent of fatal rollovers due to speeding. This is especially true when a vehicle takes a curve at a high speed. However, this is not always the driver’s fault. In some cases, those in charge of road maintenance fail to use signage telling drivers to slow down, or the signs are hidden from view by overgrown foliage. In this instance, the driver can lodge a personal injury claim against the government agency. 
  • Vehicle equipment issues: Some rollovers are due to equipment failure. This includes faulty tires, brakes, steering apparatus or the design of the vehicle. When this happens, the manufacturer can be held liable for injuries suffered in the accident by filing a products liability lawsuit.
  • Poor road conditions: Some rollover accidents are due to poor road conditions caused by inadequate maintenance by government agencies. When this happens, a claim can be filed against the city, county or state agency in charge.

Design Flaws

A serious design flaw that causes significant injuries in a rollover involves roof crush. Manufacturers are obligated to ensure that the roof infrastructure can support up to three times the vehicle’s weight. However, many vehicles do not meet this requirement. When a rollover occurs, the roof crashes down on the occupants of the car and causes injury to both the driver and passengers. It is important to retain the vehicle, so our investigators can examine the car for this defect. 

How Can Help in a Rollover

Our investigators are experienced in rollover accidents and provide detailed evidence to our injury lawyers. They go to the accident scene to see why and how the crash occurred. In rollover accidents, they will examine the vehicle for failure to prevent roof crush. They also use accident reconstruction techniques to determine liability as well as obtain surveillance camera videos of the crash.

Grass Valley Personal Injury Lawyer

I’m Ed Smith, a Grass Valley personal injury lawyer. If you are injured in a rollover accident, call us at (530) 392-9400 or at (800) 404-5400 for free and friendly advice. You can also reach out to us online

We’ve helped many clients in Grass Valley since 1982 in all types of car accidents and other traumas obtain the compensation they deserve.

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