A Fulton resident was killed in a rollover accident that occurred on Sunday, November 22nd, near the intersection of County Road 306 and Highway 54 in Fulton. The driver, a 34-year-old man, was partially ejected from his vehicle when it rolled over in the westbound lanes of 306. One passenger reportedly sustained minor injuries but refused medical treatment. The driver was pronounced dead at the scene. It is unknown at this time whether either occupant was wearing a seat belt, and the cause of the accident remains under investigation.
Rollover accidents are considered more dangerous than many other types of motor vehicle accidents. While they accounted for only 2.1% of total U.S. traffic accidents in 2010, 35% of the fatal vehicle accidents that year involved rollovers. 7,600 fatalities attributed to rollover accidents were reported in the U.S. in 2010 alone.
Multiple factors can influence the risk of experiencing a rollover accident, including:
- Speed—Approximately 40% of rollover accidents involve excessive speed.
- Vehicle type—Tall, narrow vehicles have a high center of gravity and are more likely to roll than lower, wider ones.
- Location—Nearly 75% of rollover accidents occur on rural roads; this is thought to be due to these roads typically being undivided and lacking barriers.
The following are recommendations issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that can minimize the risk of rollover:
- Avoid over-correcting the steering in response to an emergency. Remain calm and slowly correct the vehicle’s course.
- Maneuver carefully if the vehicle leaves the roadway. Gradually slow to a stop and then reenter traffic when it is safe to do so.
- Maintain the vehicle’s tires properly. Overly worn tires or improper inflation can lead to tire failure and an increased risk of rollover.