Rollovers are one of the most common and deadly occurrences involving trucks on our roads. There are a multitude of reasons why rollovers happen and it helps to be aware of a few of the scenarios that may contribute to a rollover.
When a truck travels along a curved path centrifugal force causes it to lean away from the direction of the curve which may result in a “rollover”. Tractor-trailers have a particularly high centre of gravity which makes them more vulnerable to rollovers. They also often have unstable loads which also contribute to the truck overturning.
Speed is the biggest contributing factor to rollover crashes and most crashes generally.Rollovers occur when the front wheels are turning the truck more quickly than the cargo it is carrying. The faster the speed of the vehicle, the greater this difference is.
It is in handling curves, mostly on- and off-ramps that excess speed becomes the biggest factor contributing to rollovers. Semi-trailers are particularly vulnerable to curves because trailers have relatively lower roll stability.
It is also dangerous to misjudge the curves of the road and failing to lower your speed sufficiently and early enough.
This misjudgement is made worse by speed limitation signs that are too high for loaded tractor-trailers or are not clearly visible ahead of time.
It is vital that drivers pay attention to the curves in the road or changes in road surfaces. Fatigue plays a big role in this lack of attention because drivers who are chronically tired are not able to concentrate on the road for long periods which can contribute not only to rollovers but other types of road crashes as well.