Rollover accidents — in which vehicles flip upside down, trapping their occupants — are among the most deadly type of car crashes. And when the roads are covered with snow and ice, even the most experienced drivers can have difficulty. A patch of ice can cause a driver to lose control, sending a vehicle into a ditch or down an embankment and into a rollover.

Rollover wrecks claim numerous lives in Colorado. Of 472 traffic fatalities across the state in 2012, more than a third of them, or 171, involved rollover accidents, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

A rollover accident in December 2013 killed one person and injured two others near Fort Collins, the Denver Post reported. The three were in a Chevy pickup that rolled over on County Road 28 E near Horsetooth Reservoir. One person was believed to have been ejected from the truck, according to investigators.

The number of fatal crashes in Colorado declined over the last four years, but the percentage related to rollovers remained constant. In 2008, the state reported 548 fatalities from car crashes with 204 of them involving rollovers.

Because many rollovers involve just one vehicle, driving habits can make the difference between flipping off the road and arriving alive. Follow these tips to keep from rolling over.

  1. Take it slowly. About as many people are killed in speeding-related crashes as in rollovers, and often the two are connected. Driving within the speed limit is always recommended, but when roads are snowy and icy, it’s better to drive even slower than posted limits. Extra caution can keep you from careening off the road if you hit a patch of ice.
  2. Maneuver your vehicle properly in emergencies and learn how to handle slippery roads. Your vehicle is more likely to flip and roll if you panic and overcorrect the steering wheel.
  3. Keep an eye on your tires. Driving on worn-out tires is more likely to make vehicles skid and flip. Check the inflation, because if your tires don’t have enough air, the car will be harder to control if you slide or make a sudden maneuver.
  4. Be extra careful on rural roads. About 75 percent of rollovers occur on those roads. Motorists often get slightly off the highway, then overcorrect, which can cause a vehicle to flip into a ditch or embankment and roll over.
  5. Pay attention to load limits and your center of gravity. Your vehicle owner’s manual addresses heavy loads and the distribution of weight. Read it closely and make sure that putting heavy objects on the roof or in a truck bed won’t endanger the vehicle’s occupants.

Contact Our Colorado Car Accident Law Firm

Attorney Steve Ray is a former Marine Corps judge now fights for the rights of accident victims in Fort Collins and Northern Colorado. If you have been seriously injured in a rollover car accident, he brings more than 35 years of legal experience and military discipline to pursuing your claim for compensation.

He will meet with you to discuss your case and, if a claim is possible, pursue the maximum financial recovery available. If we cannot recover money for you, you will pay nothing for our legal services.

Contact us today to discuss your case in a free consultation.