BY Mashal JONAS AGWU, MNI
I don’t know if you read my piece on the reasons why cars somersault? How did you feel reading through my wailings and lamentations over the death of my dear friend through an avoidable road traffic crash which occurred in the Federal Capital Territory? If you felt pity for me last week, then you must ponder on how you drive within the city or on long distance journey.
That is the only way that you can ensure you do not traumatize your family by your James Bond driving behaviour. For those who did not follow me, let me do a recap by stating clearly that I tried to paint the picture of the circumstances that killed my dear friend who died through a road traffic crash.
I must again sincerely apologize for my lamentations but I must also state clearly and pray that you or your family won’t go through the same pain and trauma that a distant friend like me has gone through since the tragic incident occurred. Although the story was about my friend, the real focus was on the reasons for car somersault which he experienced before his death. I took you through the numerous reasons why cars somersault such as the pitch angle of a car which can be negative or positive as well the car design.
I also talked about over speeding reminding you that with proper speed control, other factors can be controlled to avoid the somersault from occurring. Every road, I told you has its recommended speed; learn to obey the various speed limits. You must always remember that behind every road traffic crash that results in deaths, excessive speed is always a prevalent factor. So if you are pondering on repenting from your bad driving habits, then first focus must be to cut down your speed and live
Bad Road was also identified as a reason for car somersault. Any expressway that has dangerous potholes is a trap for cars on high speed. Such trap is a source for car somersaults. Tyre problem is also responsible for car somersault. A car may be moving at high speed without somersaulting, but when the car accidentally hits an obstacle on the road which could make the tyre to either pull off, burst, or get the rim deformed, then it will probably slip off the road and start somersaulting. With too many substandard tyres being used, this is a big challenge for us.
I also mentioned unseen slope route. Sharp slope or unknown shortened road will cause a car at high speed that has no such notice to fly off the road and possibly starts somersaulting. My rehash on speed and other causative factors is a reminder on the need for us as road users to drive by the approved speed and not allow our instinct or excitement to guide our driving. Driving by the approved speed limit is key and wisdom would further guide you to follow the common sense speed limit rule on major corridors as well as built up area.
As I close the chapter and focus on the incident that claimed my friend’s life, I have chosen to share this material on car rollover which I sourced hoping it will add fillip to the discourse on car somersault. Car rollover is also a major road mishap. This is because when one or more vehicle rolls over during an accident, it can result in serious injuries and fatalities. So what is a rollover? A rollover is when vehicle tips over onto its side or roof. All vehicles are susceptible to rollovers to various extents. Generally, rollover tendency increases with the height of the centre of mass, narrowness of the axle track, steering sensitivity, and increased speed.
There are two categories of vehicle rollovers: tripped and untripped. Tripped rollovers are caused by forces from an external object, such as a curb or a collision with another vehicle. Untripped crashes are the result of steering input, speed, and friction with the ground. Untripped rollovers occur when cornering forces destabilize the vehicle. As a vehicle rounds a corner, the three forces that destabilizes the vehicle are the tyre forces, inertial effects and gravity. The most common type of tripped rollover occurs when a vehicle is sliding sideways and the tires strike a curb, dig into soft ground, or a similar event occurs that results in a sudden increase in lateral force. Another type of tripped rollover occurs due to a collision with another vehicle or object.
There are two common reasons why vehicles roll over during a road traffic crash. The first reason is that drivers may lose control of their vehicles and drift off the roadway. The second, reason is that drivers may engage in high-speed, risky driving. There are other causes such as collisions with other vehicles or obstructions in the road. A further breakdown is a case where the driver loses control of the vehicle. It could also be as a result of falling asleep on the wheel while distracted driving may also cause a driver to lose focus and control. Striking a curb or other obstruction in the roadway may throw off a vehicle’s center of gravity.
The forward momentum may cause the vehicle to roll over onto its side or top. Another common cause of rollovers is aggressive driving, including risky manoeuvres like taking turns or swerving at a high rate of speed. This is especially the case for vans, trucks, and heavily loaded vehicles. Most rollovers are single-vehicle accidents while multi-vehicle rollovers are less common. However, if a vehicle is hit side-on and pushed over by the force of the oncoming vehicle, it may roll.