Most drivers have felt it at some point behind the wheel—the rising panic when their vehicle or one near them starts to slip out of control. Usually, driver instinct and tire traction take over to right the car safely. But when they don’t, a driver can be involved in a rollover accident.
According to safercar.gov, rollovers have a higher fatality rate than any other type of crash. And the danger is heightened when a large, commercial vehicle in involved. To address this, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has mandated a new rule requiring electronic stability control (ESC) on large trucks and buses, a feature that has been required in new cars since 2012.
Large Vehicles Have a Higher Risk of Rollover
Large trucks and buses are more likely to experience rollover crashes, and these accidents often occur in good weather, during daylight hours, and on straight roads. Factors contributing to these rollovers include:
- Driver error. Over 78 percent of rollovers are due to mistakes by the driver who may be fatigued, inattentive, or traveling too fast.
- Cargo loads. Heavy loads or liquid loads affect performance. Liquid loads can shift quickly in response to speed, driver maneuvers, and road characteristics.
- Vehicle design. Larger vehicles have a higher center of gravity, making them more susceptible to tipping.
- Truck maintenance. Many rollovers are caused by poor brakes, damage to the suspension, or underinflated tires.
What is Electronic Stability Control?
ESC systems sense when a vehicle is about to lose road traction and override the driver’s maneuvers to correct the danger. Panicked drivers may respond to a loss of control too quickly or not quickly enough. So, the system rapidly adjusts the vehicle by applying the brakes on individual wheels to keep the vehicle moving in the driver’s intended direction. The NHTSA predicts implementing this system in larger vehicles will prevent up to 1,700 accidents and 50 deaths a year. The system will be required on all new buses and trucks beginning in 2017.
When large vehicles flip, the damage is widespread and serious. If you or your loved one suffered injuries in a rollover with a large vehicle, we want to help. Contact Kaufman Law for a free case analysis.