Go to navigation Go to content
Phone: 604.255.9018
McComb Witten Marcoux

Our Vancouver Bus Injury Lawyers Explain Why Buses and Trucks Roll Over So Easily

Jeffrey S. Witten, B.A., LL.B.
Connect with me
Personal Injury Lawyer at McComb Witten Marcoux

Vancouver bus accident injuries can be as surprising as they are traumatic.

Our intuition about bus safety often misleads us. For instance, seat-beltless school buses, historically, have a much better safety track record than do even the highest safety-rated passenger vehicles. That's right: a simple yellow school bus may be safer than a new car outfitted with seat belts, airbags, automatic braking technology, and beyond.

Conversely, buses and other large vehicles are at increased risk for rolling over. That's pretty astonishing. Why would larger vehicles flip over easier than smaller ones? Buses weigh a lot more than passenger cars do. Shouldn't more massive objects be sturdier and harder to move?

Turns out, an object’s "sturdiness" has less to do with its overall mass and much more to do with something called its “center of gravity.” The distribution of mass in a vehicle is more important, stability-wise, than its overall mass.

Imagine a pyramid sitting on its base. It would be a very stable object, since its center of mass is located close to the base of the pyramid. When the center of gravity is low, the object is typically more stable.

Now imagine flipping that pyramid upside down, so that the point is on the ground. Now the center of mass will be much higher, relatively speaking, and the pyramid will be very unstable. You can imagine easy it might be to tip over an enormous pyramid this way—even a pyramid the size of King Tutankhamun's tomb.

This same basic physics is at work in automobiles. Many buses have very high centers of gravity, relatively speaking. This means that, even though they’re massive, they flip more easily than do smaller vehicles with lower centers of gravity.

In some cases, this “easy flipability” is a design flaw, and people injured in bus crashes can actually sue the manufacturer or designer of the vehicle for damages.

For help understanding what to do after your Vancouver bus crash, get in touch with the McComb Witten attorneys today at 604-255-9018, and be sure to take a look at our free report, Your Family Doctor Could Make Or Break Your ICBC Claim, while you are here.