Rollover accidents pose risk or serious or fatal injuries in Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is issuing new rules meant to lessen the chance of serious or fatal injury in a rollover car accident.

Those involved in a serious accident should always consult an injury lawyer in Boca Raton or West Palm Beach to discuss their rights. And in no accident is the risk for serious or fatal injury more serious than in those involving a rollover.

The U.S. Department of Transportation reports that about 10,000 people a year — or one-third of all traffic fatalities — are killed in rollover accidents. In 65 percent of those cases, the occupant is either partially or completely ejected.

Those driving light pickup trucks and SUVs are at highest risk.

The new rules will be phased in beginning in 2013 and are designed to reduce the number of people who are partially or completely ejected in rollover crashes.

“Safety is our highest priority,” said Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “This new standard will help save lives and reduce injuries by requiring vehicles to have a safety system that keeps occupants in the vehicle in a rollover crash.”

The new rules require vehicle manufacturers to develop counter measures to prevent unbelted passengers from moving more than 4 inches past a side window in the event of a crash. All vehicles must have the protection by 2018.

“Rollover crashes are the deadliest of all crash types and this is another important step in our efforts to reduce fatalities and serious injuries that result from them,” said Administrator David Strickland, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. “When fully implemented, we believe this standard will prevent on average 373 fatalities and 476 serious injuries every year.”