An 18-wheeler rolled over and caught on fire early on October 29, 2013, causing authorities to close off sections of U.S. 290 in northwest Harris County. The accident left the highway closed for more than six hours as authorities worked to investigate the incident and clear the wreckage and spilled fuel from the road.
The rollover involved only the big rig and no other vehicles, and it occurred on the inbound Northwest Freeway, per officials from the Harris County Sheriff’s Office.
More than 10,000 people are killed in rollovers each year. Drivers of tractor-trailers and other 18-wheel vehicles are at a heightened risk of rollovers and an increased risk of serious injury and death when rollovers do occur. 18-wheelers are prone to flip over because of weight-shifting in the vehicle and center of gravity issues that make big rigs more likely to roll over than cars even at low speeds. Big rig rollovers also may be occur due to defective tires or they may, of course, be the result of driver error.
Structural weakness in the cabs of 18-wheelers also may be a factor in the severity of injuries that occur after big rig rollovers.
Fortunately, there were no injuries sustained in the Harris County rollover accident.