Rollover Accidents and the Rollover Rating System

Jul 2, 2013 by

It’s commonly known that tall cars like SUVs and pickup trucks are more prone to rolling over in an accident. This is because the center of gravity in these types of vehicles is higher than in sedans and other lower cars. They are therefore more unstable when their paths change direction.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has found that “most rollovers result from the vehicle leaving the roadway and tripping,” or tipping over to the side that has left the road because the center of gravity has been upset. Other causes of rollover accidents include driver errors, collisions with debris on the road or other cars, dangerous road conditions, and defective vehicle parts or vehicle design.

Accoording to the website of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ®, some of the blame for rollover accidents may be attributed to the lack of a federal standard on rollover rates for any kind of car. In 2001, the NHTSA took a step toward establishing such a standard by researching the rollover rates of different car models and representing these rates through a star system – five stars represents a rollover rate of 10 percent or less, and one star represents a rate of 40 percent or more. This “rollover rating system” is currently only meant to inform consumers on the potential risks of purchasing a specific car model, but could be used as a safety requirement for manufacturers in the future. In that event, the ratings could also be used by car insurers to determine what it may cost to insure that particular vehicle. There are a lot of factors that are used by insurance companies to calculate rates.

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