Causes Behind Deadly Rollover Car Accidents in Alaska


Any type of motor vehicle accident can lead to serious injury for victims, but a rollover collision scenario is the most likely to cause life-threatening harm. The good news is that these incidents are relatively rare – at just 2.1% of all crashes, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) statistics. Unfortunately, however, front and side rollovers are linked to almost 35%  of all auto collision fatalities. Victims who survive are left with catastrophic injuries and sustain massive losses, including medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.

If you were injured or lost a loved one in a rollover crash, you have the right to recover compensation for these losses. You will need help from an Alaska auto accident lawyer when filing a claim or in court, but you might benefit from reviewing some basics about this category of deadly crashes.


Causes and Contributing Factors Behind Rollover Crashes 

Though they share some common features, rollovers are unique in many ways as compared to other types of motor vehicle accidents. A vehicle may flip to the side or front, or a combination of the two, due to:

  • Vehicle Design: Light trucks, sport utility vehicles, and similar vehicles tend to be more top-heavy than sedans and other passenger cars. When drivers of these vehicles encounter curves or uneven road surfaces, they may not make adjustments for the higher center of gravity, potentially leading them to flip over.
  • Tripping: When you stumble over a low-lying object, your lower body stops – while your forward momentum causes your upper body to continue in motion. This “tripping” also occurs when vehicles encounter objects close to the ground.
  • Weather Conditions: Rain, sleet, snow, and ice create slick, slippery surfaces for all vehicles, so there is an increased risk of rollovers when motorists do not account for weather conditions.


Rollover Accidents Cause Serious, Catastrophic Injuries

Anyone not wearing a seatbelt is at risk of being tossed around the interior of a vehicle in a rollover crash, while flying objects can cause injury even to those who are buckled up. Two of the worst-case scenarios involve a roof cave-in or an occupant being ejected from the car. Severe, catastrophic injuries are common, including trauma to the victim’s:

  • Head and brain, especially when airborne objects strike the skull;
  • Neck and spinal cord, since the body is violently contorted upon impact;
  • Torso and internal organs, such as injuries that occur when airbags deploy; and,
  • Upper and lower extremities, which are somewhat unprotected.


Count on an Alaska Auto Crash Attorney for Help with Your Claim

Despite the fact that they are rare, the odds are not in your favor when it comes to the fatal or serious injuries that result from rollover accidents. Many are caused by driver negligence, so it is important to understand your legal options to recover monetary damages for your losses. Our team at Power & Power Law can explain your rights and remedies, so please contact our Anchorage, Alaska office to set up a free consultation. We can advise you once we review your unique circumstances.