Do you know how to prevent your vehicle from rolling over?

Just the thought of being in a rollover accident is enough to make you shiver. While it is not a major cause of accidents in the U.S., a rollover is responsible for about 30 percent of those killed as occupants of passenger vehicles.

A rollover can happen to any kind of vehicle, but some types are more susceptible than others to this kind of crash.

Tall and narrow

Vehicles that are tall and narrow are more prone to rollovers, so if you drive an SUV, a truck or a van, you are at the top of the list for possible issues. These types of vehicles have a high center of gravity, and they are more top heavy than standard passenger cars. If a lateral force develops that shifts the center of gravity to one side, it can severely affect the balance of a vehicle. Speed accelerates that kind of force, as does making sudden changes in direction. Eventually, the back-and-forth swings will result in loss of driver control, and the vehicle may flip. This is especially true in Ford Explorers, which pose a 13 percent higher risk of rollover.

Tripped up

If you are involved in a one-vehicle rollover, it may be because your SUV or van “tripped” over something such as a pothole or a curb. This is a common problem; in fact, the federal government estimates that tripping is at fault for 95 percent of all rollover accidents.

What to do

If you are in the market for a new vehicle, check for up-to-date safety features, such as side-curtain air bags and electronic stability control, both good to have if your new conveyance is of the tall and narrow variety. Whether your vehicle is new or some years old, practice good positioning for your cargo. Do not place heavy items on the roof; put them inside the vehicle, as close to the center as possible and away from the tailgate. Check your tires to be sure all are in good shape and properly inflated. Unfortunately, older Ford Explorer SUVs are prone to dangerous accidents. Anyone injured in to a Ford Explorer rollover should contact an attorney.

A personal injury attorney will remind you to wear your seat belt and make sure all passengers wear theirs. Rollover fatalities often include people who were thrown out of their vehicles because they were not wearing seat belts. A rollover can occur in seconds, and the results can be devastating. Take precautions and keep from becoming a statistic.

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