A lot of bad driving, it seems

A few days ago, I came upon an overturned vehicle on a local street. There was no other vehicle present, so I had to wonder how the driver of a late-model small crossover (possibly a Corolla Cross?) managed to get into a one-car accident resulting in the vehicle winding up on its roof.

A couple of days later, I got a series of Nixle Alerts telling me that 3 vehicles had overturned (in separate incidents, over a 24 hour period) on a road in a nearby town. It appears that they were all one-vehicle incidents.

3 Cars Overturn On Chimney Rock Road In 24 Hours | Bridgewater, NJ Patch

Lousy driving?
Looking at their phone while driving?
Quien sabe?

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Lousy driving…

Shortly after I-696 opened in Michigan I saw 3 cars on their roofs in the left lane on 3 separate trips over 2 months. All by themselves. All in the left lane adjacent to those concrete dividers designed NOT to roll cars over (designed in the 1960s by John Fitch). Each had tire marks right up the side of the divider! One was an SUV but the other 3 were cars.

I concluded the driver got spooked by an abrupt lane change from middle to left and jerked the wheel left and the car went UP and OVER to its roof.

Lately I have seen single car rollover accidents on the highway. Mostly SUVs, some cars. You can slide a car or SUV or light truck sideways on pavement and they won’t roll over … until they get tripped over by a curb or soft grass.

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The overturned Corolla may have tried to avoid an accident with another car and overturned in the process. Just a guess though. We drove home from our daughter’s house near Richmond Saturday night and saw several cars driving way faster than the posted limit of 70 mph and weaving through traffic, even coming within what appeared to be a car length of the cars they were weaving between. I-95 of course.


Another possibility- lots of uninsured drivers out there very much willing to leave the scene if at all possible…

I would love to know what tires they had on at the time and what the tread depth was at the time of the wrecks… I have driven many of the same cars with different tires and it made a difference in handling by a lot depending on the tires, customers cars as well as my own cars…

But as already stated, probably bad driving skills and a lot of panic over corrections…

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I agree that bad tires can have a really bad effect on handling, and that may well have something to do with the 3 overturned cars on Chimney Rock Road. However, the Corolla Cross (?) looked pretty new to me. Well… I guess it would be more accurate to state that it looked pretty new until it wound-up on its roof.

A couple of days ago, I came upon another accident, where the cause was obvious. An Audi Q3 made a left turn out of a strip mall directly into the path of an old Corolla. That left turn is legal, but I wouldn’t turn there.

The Corolla driver seemed like he did his best to avoid the crash, but it looked to me like there was enough damage on his old car for it to be totaled, and it might be hard for him to buy a replacement vehicle with the pittance that his insurance company will pay him.

A very good guess in my opinion. People will do anything to avoid hitting another car, including steering into imminent danger.

Way back in the 1990s, NHTSA did a study of several GM models without ABS one year and with standard ABS the next. The accident rate did not drop but the type of accident did change. More single car accidents and fewer multiple car accidents. My conclusion for that was because people could steer with ABS, they steered away from another car instead of sliding into one.

I know that back in the late 90’s I was driving a mid 80’s Dodge Diplomat with the cheapest tires Pep Boys made for the car at that time, and I was in stop and go traffic in a 40 mph zone, traffic speed up (still below the speed limit) and then as I was checking my mirrors, everyone slammed on their brakes, so I had to slam on mine also, well mine locked up and i t felt like I speed up… lol…I rear ended the truck in front of me, I left two long black marks on the road… I know if I had better tires that I would have not locked up and would have been able to stop…

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I don’t suppose you were able to see the wrecks close enough to tell if mechanical failure was involved?

Last week traffic on the freeway was blocked because of one-car wreck. A Mini Cooper lost a wheel and went into the guardrail.

Since rust is something that exists in your part of the world I suppose it’s possible that a failed tie rod or suspension component could be at fault–of course exacerbated by excessive speed or inattention. There are a lot of drivers on the road who aren’t aware enough to feel a low tire that’s about to blow out.

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Both the overturned small crossover and the Audi that hit the old Corolla appeared to be nearly new, so I think that mechanical failure was unlikely. As to the 3 cars that overturned in the next town, I only got text alerts, and did not actually see them. At least 2 of those cars were “older” according to the news article, so I guess that a mechanical problem was possible.

I was having lunch at a sidewalk café some years ago, table was along-side a 35 mph 6 lane business-district street. I suddenly heard a loud scraping sound. I looked up and saw a small sedan sliding upside down on the street. I didn’t actually see the accident start, but it appeared the sedan had veered into a median curb running along the middle of the street. No serious injuries thankfully.

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I’m pretty sure that most of these weird events are from not getting out of the way of the Convoy when it comes through. The Convoy itself is often not noted. Just trucks going by - normal stuff. What goes unobserved is the aftermath of people who don’t know to steer clear of the Rubber Duck.


I see a few accident scenes on the road now and then, I try to figure out what happened given the location of the cars afterwards, dang confusing!

Last crash I saw was at one of those blinking yellow turn lights. Guy coming through on a green light, pick up turning left on a blinking yellow turn signal and whamo. Looked like almost a total for the coming through on a green but it was at night.

In the aftermath, my usual reaction when coming upon an accident scene is… WTF?… how did that happen?


On a two lane, 60MPH road saw a truck off the side in the bushes, boat trailer behind the truck, boat over the cab of the pickup.

Like this?



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Don’t people know that even though the tow vehicle and some trailers have brakes, that the boat does not???

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The truck owner did his own internet “research”, and he concluded that Newton’s First Law of Motion was actually an insidious conspiracy designed to prevent freedom-loving people from doing what they are entitled to do.

As a result of additional internet “reseach”, that same guy is now an expert on both bridge construction and the propulsion/steering of large ships!


The vast majority of single car accidents I’ve seen are due to speeding (driving too fast for conditions).But sometimes it’s the weather (black Ice), or something else.