Recent reports show that accidents are on the rise in Nigeria. In the second quarter of 2018 alone, the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics reported that over 2600 road accidents occurred across the country with 682 of those cases claiming about 1331 Nigerian lives. Though the report did not specifically put values on roll-over incidents, we know that roll-over accidents are one of the most dangerous accident categories from all measures, it is known to claim more lives than every other category. This statement is confirmed when we consider Statistics from around the globe which clearly finger roll-over accidents for taking the most lives when they occur.
Statistics from the US alone show that roll-over accidents were responsible for 30% of deaths recorded even though it accounted for only 2.1% of road accidents that occurred. In Nigeria, we are witnesses of several cases of roll-over crashes occurring in our neighborhoods, which further highlights the severity of this type of road crash across the country.
Roll-over accidents are known to cause more death when they occur
What is a car roll-over?
A roll-over, as the name implies occurs when a car rolls over on its side, usually after the driver loses control of the car due to swerving or loss of balance. In minimal cases, the car rolls over onto its side just one time. In such cases, we may expect minimal damage to the car and fewer injuries or deaths. But in more severe cases, the vehicle rolls over several times before coming to a stop, and you would expect more severe injuries and maybe deaths.
Categories of roll-over accidents
Roll-over accidents are basically classified into two categories, tripped and Untripped roll-over accidents.
- Tripped roll-overs occur when a vehicle hits an object, a bad patch of road, or has its tires trapped by soft sand especially on rural roads and then tips and rolls over.
- On the other hand, an untripped roll-over is when neither of these happens and the car is only tipped over by its own uneven weight distribution or the uneven distribution of the weight it is carrying. This mostly occurs in cars with a high center of gravity like vans, trucks, and SUVs.
Just like there are kinds of cars more prone to road accidents, are there cars that usually rollover? Let's get on with it.
Causes of Roll-Over Accidents
From the classification of roll-over accidents above, I believe it is easy to have a fair idea of what the possible causes of roll-over accidents could be. However, we will briefly highlight the few known causes of roll-overs on roads.
- Excessive Speeding
This is the number one cause of roll-overs across the world. In the second quarter of 2018, the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics reported that over speed and speed violations accounted for 50.65 % of all road crashes recorded in that period. This figure highlights the real danger of roll-over in the country and since there is no official data on roll-over accidents in Nigeria, it is safe to deduce from the available statistics the extent of roll-overs that occur in the country. The ability of a driver to control his/her car is greatly reduced when he is moving at a high speed and most roll-overs occur in situations like this.
FRSC stated Speed Limits for Nigerian Roads
- Bad Roads
Bad roads are another primary cause of roll-over accidents. Recent data show that bad roads accounted for 1.07% of recorded road crash cases. This number might appear small, but when we consider it as being a primary cause of roll-overs which is known to cause more deaths, we begin to see the severe impact of bad roads.
This is a very common issue in Nigeria, as so many people prefer to stack up the load on a car well above the manufacturer's recommended payload limit. The implication of this is, the vehicle will be more unstable and will easily lose balance at the slightest force shift.
This is when you over-steer, possibly when you are faced with a sudden need to steer away from danger. Most persons will oversteer in this situation and this has been known to be a major cause of roll-overs. In this situation, the car swerves and lunges about, losing balance and suddenly rolls over. When such occurs, what you should do after a car accident is not always clear. This is why you must be careful on the roads.
How To Avoid Roll-over Car Accident
Always have it at the back of your mind that every car can roll-over given the right conditions, so your job is to make sure those right conditions do not exist. So, the following tips will help us avoid getting into a roll-over accident.
Please note: You must always wear your seat belt. You increase your chances of survival in the event of a roll-over if you wear your seat belt, Please always strap into your seat belt.
Make sure you drive under FRSC recommended speed limit
FRSC recommends 100 km/hr or 62 mph as the recommended speed limit on Nigerian roads. For details of specific speed limits, look at the picture above. When driving on highways where the road is free, avoid the temptation of over speeding, as you may just be putting yourself and others at risk of a roll-over. You may just hit a rough patch or pothole and boom!!! You are all over the place. Keep to the designated speed limit and stay alive.
Don't drink if you must drive
Driving under the influence of alcohol or hard drugs greatly impairs your judgment and reduces your ability to make good decisions while driving. If you must drive, please avoid taking alcohol altogether, so you arrive at your destination safe and sound.
Most commercial drivers are guilty of this offense and in a country where 60.29% of the over 11 million vehicles on the road are commercial cars, there is a real danger here and the need to sensitize these drivers on the dangers of overloading. We understand that you have to make ends meet, however you would want to stay alive while doing that. Overloading greatly increases the chances of roll-over occurring.
Overloading greatly increases the chances of roll-over occurring
Make Sure your car and tires are in a good state
This is a very important step to always keep in mind. Mechanical failure and Tire burst up can put you at great risk of an accident and most especially a roll-over accident. So make sure to check that your tires are in good shape and that your car is mechanically sound to be on the road or embark on a trip. This is why it's important to know how to tell an accident car with these 10 checking tips for buyers. That way you don't buy trouble with your own money.
Avoid unnecessary distractions
Try to avoid unnecessary distractions when driving, as this has been proven as a major cause of oversteering or overcorrecting. Remember, oversteering always almost result in roll-overs. So, please make sure to keep your attention on the road and you will likely avoid getting in a roll-over.
The following video highlights what you should do after a car accident.
Video: How To Survive a Vehicle Rollover | Driving Techniques | Tactical Rifleman
We hope these few tips have schooled you better on how to deal with and act to prevent roll-over accidents.