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What Are Rollover Accidents and What Causes Them?

Posted in New Mexico Truck Accidents

Sharing the road with large commercial trucks is dangerous for other motorists – especially when there is a problem with the truck or its driver. A rollover accident occurs when a big rig topples onto its side or rolls onto its roof. An 18-wheeler rollover accident could block several lanes of traffic, causing a multi-vehicle crash and serious injuries.

What Is a Rollover Accident?

A rollover accident means that a motor vehicle has tipped onto its side or back during a crash. Any motor vehicle can roll over or overturn. However, rollovers occur most often in vehicles with high centers of gravity and top-heavy vehicles, such as SUVs. Rollover accidents have a higher fatality rate than other types of car accidents, as the occupants may get crushed by the car or ejected.

Common Causes of Truck Rollover Accidents

A truck rollover accident specifically involves a commercial truck, tractor-trailer or 18-wheeler. These vehicles can overturn or roll due to their shape and mechanics, such as the connection between the cab and trailer or the weight of the load the truck is carrying. Common causes of truck rollovers include:

  • Tire blowout: if even one of the tires on a big rig pops, the truck driver could lose control and the vehicle may roll over. Tire defects, excessively worn tires or not enough tread grip on the road can increase the risk of truck rollovers.
  • Loss of vehicle control: a truck driver operating at high speeds, taking a corner too fast, jerking the wheel or using the wrong braking technique could cause the truck to jackknife or leave the road, which may lead to a rollover.
  • Imbalanced load: an overloaded truck, a top-heavy truck or one that is not loaded properly could be imbalanced. On the road, an imbalanced truck could tip onto its side when it tries to round a corner.
  • A “tripped” vehicle: a vehicle that is “tripped” means that its tire hits something, such as a curb, pothole, guardrail or soft soil. This can cause a loss of vehicle control and a rollover accident. Another car crashing into the truck could also cause the truck to “trip.”


Defective tires and vehicle parts, truck driver carelessness and recklessness, improperly loaded cargo, a poorly maintained truck, and road hazards are all common causes of truck rollover accidents. Identifying the cause of a truck rollover often requires an in-depth investigation, such as investigators returning to the scene, interviewing passengers and witnesses, and reconstructing the crash.

Who Is Liable for a Truck Rollover Accident?

Determining who is liable, or legally and financially responsible, for a harmful truck rollover in New Mexico requires an understanding of the cause of the crash. If a negligent truck driver is responsible, for example, the trucking company could be held vicariously liable. The trucking company could also be named as the defendant if it was guilty of poor fleet maintenance that contributed to the rollover crash, such as worn tires. In a rollover caused by a defective tire, on the other hand, the manufacturer could be held liable.

A rollover truck accident could cause serious injuries such as broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, paralysis and amputations. If you or a loved one was involved in a truck rollover crash, don’t hesitate to contact the rollovers and blowouts attorneys in New Mexico for legal assistance. You may be able to recover financial compensation from one or more parties for causing your collision.