Miami Rollover/Roof Crush Accident Attorney

If you or a loved one has been injured in a rollover crash in Florida, we can help you recover compensation for your injuries.

How Can We Help?

  • We work with top experts to determine the causes of your accident.
  • We investigate your accident to identify who may share fault.
  • We determine if there is insurance to cover for your accident.
  • We stand up to insurers if you're having trouble getting your payout.
Sean M. Cleary

Top Rated Rollover Attorney in Miami

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Vehicles Prone to Rollover

The factor that separates these vehicle models is their design. The higher the center of the mass, the narrower the axle track, and the more sensitive a car is in steering, the more unstable it will be on the road, especially in critical conditions.

At The Law Offices of Sean M. Cleary, we specialize in investigating rollover crashes in Florida. We can handle the complex legal issues involved and fight a manufacturing company's highly regarded lawyers efficiently.

Paying attention to details, we can establish and prove the chain of events that lead to a rollover crash.

  • SUVs tend to flip over as they are taller and have higher ground clearance. The models displaying long off-road suspensions have an even higher center of mass. Also, SUVs are more likely to be used on more dangerous rural roads.
  • Pickups are, also, more likely to be driven on rural roads. Moreover, lower safety belt use contributes to fatal or severe injuries.
  • Trucks are more prone to roll over as they also have higher ground clearance and taller bodies.
  • Vans are more prone to tip over, due, also, to their larger body. 15 passenger vans are more likely to roll over due to the type of suspensions used, necessary for sustaining a heavy load. Moreover, the weight of the passengers contributes to their instability. When fully loaded, their center of gravity moves up and to the back.

Cars with the Highest Risk of Rolling Over

Certain models are known to have higher tendencies of rollover, including:

The data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, and Forbes shows that the cars you should avoid are:

Some of the models that received only three stars in NHTSA rollover ratings are:

  • 2016 Cadillac Escalade SUV
  • 2016 Chevrolet Suburban 1500 SUV
  • 2016 Ford Expedition SUV
  • 2016 GMC Yukon SUV
  • 2016 Jeep Patriot SUV
  • 2015 Smart Cabrio C
  • 2015 Smart Coupe 2
  • 2012 Smart Fortwo
  • 2016 Chevrolet Silverado 2500
  • 2016 GMC Canyon
  • 2016 GMC Sierra 2500

Vehicles that were rated two stars in rollover ratings are:

  • Ford Transit Medium Roof 15 Pass WAGON
  • Ford E-350 P15 VAN
  • Nissan NV3500 Passenger Van

Vehicles rated one star in rollover ratings are:

  • Freightliner Sprinter 2500 VAN
  • Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 2500 VAN
Prone to Rollover. SUVs.

Since 1978, SUVs have a routinely higher rate of rollover deaths than cars. Recently, single-vehicle rollover crashes caused 41% of occupant deaths in SUVs, in comparison with 36% of occupant deaths in pickups and 18% in cars.

However, driver death proportion for single-vehicle rollover accidents has dropped across all passenger vehicle models, in particular for SUVs.

Single-vehicle crashes involving SUV rollover accounted for three driver deaths/million registered passenger vehicles in 2014. The news is not all bad.

The newest SUVs have improved and have lower driver-death rates than the newest cars. Newer vehicles have better build quality and safety systems, especially important are electronic stability control and side-curtain airbags.

According to IIHS data, the rollover may take place after:

  • A frontal impact. In 2014, 36% of occupant deaths in SUV rollover crashes happened after an initial frontal impact.
  • Side impact with a vehicle or a fixed object. 14% of occupant deaths in 2014 happened in rollovers caused by an initial side impact.
  • Rear impact. The rear impact was responsible for 3% of occupant deaths.
  • A vehicle gets off the roadway. 37% of passenger occupant deaths happened after the SUV rolled over after no initial impact.

Rollovers may lead to occupants being thrown out from the SUV, increasing the possibility of a fatality.

When it comes to car and SUV rollover statistics, which vehicles finished last, being more prone to tumbling over? According to a recent report from The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:

  • Ford Explorer's SportTrac 4x2
  • Mercury Mountaineer 4x2
  • Ford Explorer
  • GMC Yukon
  • Chevy Tahoe
Pickup Trucks

While commonly heavier, pickups are safer in multi-vehicle crashes, but they've been shown to be at a disadvantage in single-vehicle accidents, which comprise 43% of fatal accidents.

According to NHTSA statistics, in single-vehicle crashes, pickups have more than double the probability of rolling over. Data shows that pickups largely have a greater fatality rate than cars of comparable weight.

By their very design, pickups result in a higher rollover rate than passenger vehicles and drivers tend to increase the rollover problem with excessive loads and overloading.

Each year, 44 percent of pickup occupants killed in crashes are in vehicles that rolled over. In comparison, 22 percent of deaths in cars are in rollovers.

Pickups are likely to be involved in rollovers more commonly than cars due to:

  • Physical differences. Trucks are taller than cars, also have larger ground clearance. Their mass is distributed higher above the road comparative to the width of the vehicle.
  • To make things worse, for a long time pickups were behind other vehicle types in electronic-stability control.
  • Supplementary passengers and cargo can raise the center of gravity even more. Provided that other factors or circumstances remain the same, a vehicle with a higher center of gravity is more likely to roll over than a lower-riding vehicle.
  • Driver behavior could be partly responsible for the high rollover rate of pickups. These cars are more dangerous than other vehicles for inexperienced drivers.
  • Moreover, pickups are more commonly used on rural roads, where rollovers take place more frequently. Vehicles are unsafe when used in conditions they are not designed to experience. For example, when a high clearance pickup is used on hilly, curvy roads.
  • When pickup occupants don't use safety belts, it is possible they'll be catastrophically or fatally injured when rollovers take place.

According to IIHS data, passenger vehicle occupant deaths in pickup rollover crashes were caused by:

  • A frontal impact in 38% of the cases.
  • Side impact in 16% of the cases.
  • Rear impact in 4% of the cases.
  • 33% of passenger occupant deaths took place when the pickup rolled over after no initial impact.
Prone to Rollover. Utility Trucks.

Rollover rates are higher for light trucks, compared to passenger cars, and for vehicles driven by males and younger drivers. Being an occupant in a light truck diminishes the likelihood of a fatal injury given a single-vehicle rollover. Similarly, higher vehicle occupancy increases the probability of a truck rolling over given involvement in a single-vehicle crash, but it diminishes the risk of occupant deaths.

According to NHTSA Florida traffic safety statistics, in 2015, 9% of utility truck occupants died in accidents, while for 1% of large truck occupants, the crashes were fatal. Also, 479 accident cases in Florida in 2015 involved a rollover, and 225 involved a large truck. FMCSA information shows that, in the USA, rollovers were the first harmful events in 5% of all fatal crashes involving light trucks and in 2% of all nonfatal crashes involving large trucks.

Rollovers may be caused by a combination of factors related to the driver, conditions, vehicle design, and cargo. Probable causes of a rollover accident involving utility trucks include:

  • Driver errors: for example, the driver's extreme and rapid evasive steering maneuvers when negotiating curves, driver fatigue, speeding, and impaired driving.
  • Conditions: slippery roadways, soft shoulders lower than the road surface, drop-offs, cloverleaf ramp designs, and roadway barrier design.
  • Vehicle: vehicle weight, the center of gravity, and improper electronic stability control systems are some of the things that affect the probability of a rollover crash.
  • Occupant behavior: not using restraints makes it more likely for occupants to be completely ejected from the vehicle. Most fatal rollovers are single-vehicle crashes.
Prone to Rollover. Vans.

Reports show that 15 passenger vans, like those used to transport college athletic teams, church groups, or vanpools, have a markedly greater risk of rolling over when loaded with passengers.

The NHTSA issued a warning when a study concluded vans are three times more prone to go over when transporting 10 or more passengers than when carrying lighter loads.

According to the NHTSA traffic safety facts, the number of van occupant fatalities increased by 95 compared with previous years, a 9.3% increase. In Florida in recent years, the percent of van crash deaths was slightly decreased from in the early 2010s.

Rollover propensity in single-vehicle crashes may be influenced by:

  • A vehicle's age. The likelihood of rollover for older vehicles is slightly higher than for newer cars.
  • Driver-Related Factors:
    • Vans were found to be 3.1 times more prone to roll over in speed-related accidents than in non-speed-related accidents.
    • In vans with unrestrained drivers, the rollover probability was found to be 25%, while the rollover probability for restrained drivers was 10%. One explanation of this data is that the drivers who used restraints also drove safer.
    • Vans are more likely to roll over when the driver is 24 and younger (16% rate) and even more possible when the driver, as well as the passengers, are 24 and younger (24% rate).
    • When alcohol is involved in the crash, the rate of a rollover is double compared to when alcohol is not involved (18% to 9%).
    • Most vans rolled over when the driver tried negotiating turns, changing lanes, or when going straight. A large van is longer and wider than a car, it needs more space and supplementary dependence on the side-view mirrors for changing lanes, it does not respond as well as a car to abrupt steering maneuvers, and requires added braking time.
  • Vehicle Occupancy. Higher occupancy is associated with a higher rollover rate. One explanation is that a higher passenger number increases the vehicle's center of mass, making it less stable. Vans with six or more occupants were found to be 25% likely to roll over, while vans with one or two occupants had a 9% rate.
Prone to Rollover. Buses.

Although in the case of buses the rollover is relatively rare, it is the most dangerous one. Types of buses most commonly involved in rollovers are long-distance tourist buses, small buses, intercity, and local buses, double-decker buses, school buses, and city, local buses.

The number of casualties/accidents in bus rollover crashes is around 25 and in frontal collisions, the second most dangerous bus accident type, the number of fatalities is around 17.

Florida, and in particular the Miami area, is filled with buses, including school, city transportation, tourist buses, so bus accidents are relatively common and usually involve injuries of numerous individuals.

In a rollover, the occupants may be endangered by four mechanisms:

  • Intrusion. Due to large-scale deformations in the structure of the bus and the loss of space, elements from the structure of the bus intrude on the body of occupants or crash them.
  • Projection. The uncontrolled movement of the occupants inside the bus, causes their bodies to crash against the structural parts of the passenger compartment.
  • Total ejection. During the rollover, occupants may be ejected through the broken or fallen windows and crushed by the rolling bus.
  • Partial ejection. At the time of the rollover, the passenger's body could come into contact with the outside surface and could be strongly scratched. Also, parts of the body (head, arms, chest) could get under the window column or waist rail and be pressed into it.
Prone to Rollover. Sedans.

More than 6K passenger vehicle occupants die in rollover crashes every year. 28% of these accidents involve no other impact.

An NHTSA study shows that sedans have the greatest rate of occupants killed in single-vehicle rollovers. The fatality rate given involvement in a single-vehicle rollover is comparable for all vehicle groups (SUVs, vans, pickups), between 2% and 3%.

However, the rate of no injuries is lower in sedans. For example, the no-injury rate in sedans, given involvement in single-vehicle rollovers, was an estimated 39%. IIHS data shows that in multiple-vehicle rollovers, the crash leading to occupant deaths can be caused by:

  • A frontal impact, leading to 45% occupant deaths.
  • Side impact, leading to 18% occupant deaths.
  • Rear impact, leading to 4% occupant deaths.

18% of passenger occupant deaths were caused by cars rolling over after no initial impact. The greatest rollover rate for passenger vehicles involved in a single-vehicle crash was correlated with striking an embankment, at an approximated 30%, followed by hitting a culvert, curb, or ditch, at an approximated 17%. Rollover propensity in passenger cars single-vehicle crashes may be determined by:

  • A vehicle's age. Newer vehicles designed with electronic stability control (ESC) for crash avoidance have the potential in reducing casualties in single-vehicle crashes.
  • Driver-related factors. For example speed, seat belt use, the driver's age, alcohol consumption, incorrect maneuvers. Most passenger cars rolled over when the driver tried passing maneuvers, negotiating a turn, or changing lanes.
  • Vehicle occupancy. Higher occupancy is associated with a higher rollover rate. One explanation is that a loaded car has a different center of mass and it is less stable.
  • Road type. The highest rollover rate for passenger vehicles was on divided highways, with an estimated 12% of all single-vehicle accidents. This higher likelihood could have been due to the road type itself, or because divided highways usually have higher speed limits.

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