If your car turns over so that it lands on its roof, you have had a rollover accident. These can result in severe injuries and possible fatalities. Your risk for a rollover crash may depend on factors such as where you drive and the type of vehicle you have. However, most occur during routine driving maneuvers, such as negotiating a turn or even driving straight.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there are two main types of rollover accidents: un-tripped and tripped.
An un-tripped rollover occurs when your car turns over without striking another object, such as a guardrail or another vehicle, or running off the road into soft soil. An un-tripped rollover may occur when you are trying to avoid a high-speed collision. They are fairly rare, accounting for less than 5% of all rollover crashes. Nevertheless, they are more likely to occur if your vehicle is particularly top-heavy.
A tripped rollover occurs when your vehicle strikes something that applies a high tripping force to the tires. This can be an object, such as a guardrail or a curb. However, it can also occur when your vehicle runs off the road and your tires encounter soft soil. Your tires may sink down into the surface, but your inertia keeps propelling the vehicle forward. This can cause your vehicle to roll over much as you might fall down if you struck an impediment with your foot while walking. Tripped rollovers can also occur when your vehicle strikes a snowbank during inclement weather or a disruption in the surface of the pavement.