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The Effect of Weak Vehicle-roof Support during Rollover Accidents

Multiple-vehicle collisions are among the deadliest types of car accidents in the US. These include rear-end collisions, head-on collisions and side-impact crashes, also called side-swipes or T-bones. More dangerous than any of these, however, are rollover accidents, which have claimed more lives and greater damages in the past years, especially during the 1990s, when production of passenger vans increased and SUVs were introduced.

Based on the figures released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 10,000 lives are lost every year due to rollover accidents, which number to more than 280,000. Though any type of vehicle can rollover, the ones more prone are pick-up trucks, vans and SUVs. This is because these vehicles, compared to cars, have a center of gravity of is higher from the ground.

The results of a rollover accident becomes doubly worse is the roof of a vehicle collapses. Collapsing vehicle roof is another major cause of severe injuries and fatalities during rollover accidents. A vehicle’s roof crashing down on the driver and other passengers’ head and spine can cause severe or fatal head and spinal injuries.

One reason for roof collapse is failure of the roof pillars (these are the vertical structures that are supposed to hold up the vehicle’s roof in the event of a rollover accident). There are usually six (if counted individually) or three pairs of roof pillars: the A-pillars, which support the windshield, front side windows and the beginning of the roof. These can also channel the electrical wiring for the lights at the rear of the vehicle and for overhead lighting. The two other pairs are the B and C pillars; the former are the vertical supports between the front and rear doors, while the latter joins the vehicle’s rear side and rear windows.

Despite the great danger posed by weak roof support, many vehicles are built with reduced pillar strength. While this strategy lessens a vehicle’s weight as well as lowers its cost, it, nonetheless, also greatly increases the risk of serious injury for the driver and his/her passengers. Thus, to ensure the safety of every occupant even when the vehicle rolls over, the government has mandated a roof crush resistance standard which manufacturers should incorporate in every vehicle built.

Besides the roof crush resistance standard, the NHTSA has also required manufacturers to make the electronic stability control system (ESC) a basic feature of every car. The ESC is designed to give drivers greater control of their vehicles, especially when these skid, to lessen the possibility of a rollover.

The law firm Mazin & Associates, PC, says that when a car accident occurs, the result could be grave injury, permanent disability or death for drivers and their passengers. If this accident is the fault of one specific party, however, it would be greatly unfair to expect innocent victims to waste their time and resources dealing with the situation, especially in the event of a wrongful death. Pursuing legal action against responsible parties, especially for the purpose of recovering compensation, should be considered by victims. It may serve a great advantage for victims if they are represented by a seasoned personal injury lawyer in this legal pursuit.

ADHD and Car Accidents

A recent study by Swedish researchers found that men with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) that were not on medication were more likely (30%) to be involved in a car wreck than those under ADHD medication. It is speculated that this is because adult men with ADHD are habitually distracted, and medication allows them to become more focused when they are behind the wheel.

This is a significant finding because ADHD is a common mental disorder, usually diagnosed in children but which can persist into adulthood. Many states have traffic laws that penalizes distracted driving, but that applies to drivers who voluntarily distract themselves by using their mobile phone, eating or grooming. It is hardly fair to drivers with ADHD who cannot control how their brain works. If the study findings are correct, ADHD sufferers may well be able to drive in safety if they keep on their medication.

Unfortunately, there is no medication to prevent reckless or negligent driving behavior. According to the Sampson Law Firm in the Louisville, KY area in an article on their website, victims of car accidents are often left with life-changing injuries and in financial straits because of enormous medical bills. What makes it worse is when the accident is caused because the driver was texting or had spilled a drink. It can be difficult to know that but for that instant of inattention, none of the resulting pain and suffering would have occurred.

Tort law does not require that there is an intention to do harm; the failure to act responsibly is usually enough to warrant at least civil sanctions. If you have been injured in a car accident caused by a distracted driver who does not suffer from ADHD, you may be able to get compensation for the financial, physical, and emotional stress you suffered. Consult with a personal injury lawyer to discuss your legal options.