Vehicle overturns are caused by:
- The vehicle not being suitable for the task
- Driving on slopes that are too steep
- Driving on slippery surfaces, for example, oil spills
- Driving on poor or uneven ground, for example, soft ground, potholes or over curbs
- Poor loading, for example, the vehicle is overloaded, unevenly loaded or in the case of some fork lift trucks under loaded
- Speeding, especially going too fast around corners
- Loads being carried at a dangerous height, for example, forklift trucks should not carry loads in a raised position
- Untrained and inexperienced drivers
Roll over protection systems (ROPS) are available on some types of vehicles and can reduce the risk of injury in the event of a vehicle overturning. However, they are not usually fully effective unless the driver is wearing an appropriate seatbelt or restraint.
Drivers should be provided with appropriate information and instruction about how restraint and safety equipment operates and should be aware that in many situations the safety belt or restraint is provided in order to prevent the driver from trying to jump off an overturning vehicle.