Rollovers are survivable if vehicles provide basic occupant protection. Unlike front or side impact crashes — where the vehicle has to absorb a large amount of energy in a short amount of time — in a rollover, energy is typically dissipated over a longer time and distance. Therefore, the forces on the occupants are often lower than in a frontal or side impact, making a rollover survivable with adequate occupant protection.
Vehicle defects that contribute to occupant injury in rollovers include:
- lack of adequate roof and pillar strength
- seat belts that do not safely hold occupants in their seats
- seat belts that unlatch
- door locks and latches that fail allowing ejection
- lack of glazing in the side or rear window that can help keep occupants inside vehicles
- lack of side curtain airbags, which can prevent ejection