Conclusions of NHTSA Rollover Accident Characteristics Analysis

Nearly three-fourths of occupants killed in rollover crashes were not using restraints and slightly less than two-thirds of them were completely ejected from the vehicle.

National Center for Statistics and Analysis, 400 Seventh St., S.W., Washington, DC 20590 2

(For the full text of this report go to: http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/departments/nrd-30/ncsa/AvailInf.html Look under ”research notes.”)

Conclusions

‘Nearly three-fourths of occupants killed in rollover crashes were not using restraints and slightly less than two-thirds of them were completely ejected from the vehicle.

‘Most fatal rollover crashes are single vehicle crashes.

‘Positive and elevated Blood Alcohol Counts (BACs) are associated with fatal rollovers, and particularly fatal single vehicle rollovers. Involved drivers with positive BACs are more likely to have had BACs at or above the intoxication level.

‘Rollover crashes are more likely to result in fatalities than other types of crashes.

‘Rollover crashes constitute about one-fifth of all fatal crashes.

‘The number of fatal passenger car rollover crashes has been decreasing in recent years.

‘The number of fatal light truck rollover crashes is increasing, particularly among SUVs and vans.

‘The number of fatal SUV rollovers has more than doubled since 1991, growing faster than any other class of light trucks.

‘The increases in fatal light truck fatalities, driven by SUV crashes, have been offsetting the decreases in both fatal passenger car crashes and rollover crashes.

‘Increases in fatal light truck rollovers may be a result of their growing proportion of the vehicle mix rather than deterioration in the design and construction of the vehicles involved.

‘Slightly less than one-half of single vehicle rollovers were reported by the investigating police officer to be preceded by an attempt to avoid the crash by a steering maneuver, compared with one-third of rollovers in multi-vehicle crashes.

‘In about 40 percent of fatal single vehicle rollovers and 57 percent of multi-vehicle rollovers, investigating officers reported that no crash avoidance maneuvers preceded the crash.

‘Drivers of rollover vehicles tend to be males, under 40 years old, driving on two-way roads without dividing barriers.

‘Speed was an important factor in fatal rollovers, with most crashes occurring on roads where speed limits were 55 miles an hour or greater.

Web Link: http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/departments/nrd-30/ncsa/AvailInf.html