more likely to be the cause of the rollover than any other factor. The key to prevention is educating drivers on what to look for to keep this dangerous incident from occurring.
Excessive speed is the number on cause of rollovers, according to SafetyMovement.org. Speed limit signs on highways are meant for cars and are not safe for larger vehicles such as semi trucks. SafetyMovement.org says the two types of rollovers are tripped, where the vehicle leaves the roadway and slides sideways digging its tires into soft soil, or where it hits an object such as a guardrail or curb. The high tripping force causes a rollover.
The other type of rollover is untripped, where the vehicle does not hit an object, but rolls over due to centrifugal force, usually during high
speed turns or sudden steering maneuvers. Tankers with a high center of gravity are more prone than passenger cars to untripped rollovers.
Other causes of rollovers include:
1. Entering a curve at too high a speed
2. Swerving to avoid an obstacle
3. Fatigue, falling asleep, driving off the road
4. Stopping or parking on a soft surface
5. Truck improperly loaded
6. Sudden maneuvers due to inattention to the road
7. Driver distracted, drifted off the road.
Preventing these rollovers is critical. SafetyMovement.org and FMCSA recommend these tips:
- Slow down on turns and curves, at least 5 miles below the posted advisory speed.
- Get sufficient rest before you commence driving.
- Observe the Hours of Service rules.
- Take your on-road rest breaks.
- Plan where you pull off the road to stop. Look for paved or other hard surfaces.
- Always leave yourself plenty of clear vision ahead.
- Ensure your load is properly centered and loaded.
- Avoid partially filled loads; if you can’t do so, reduce your speed substantially before entering a turn.
- Watch for high-risk areas on the highway.
- Maintain proper speed cushions.
- Leave with a balanced load, and if doing multiple drops, plan the discharges so that the truck axle loadings remain balanced.
- If you do leave the paved surface, don’t swing back sharply. Reduce speed, and when slowed, turn gradually back onto the road.