Rolling your 4x4 is probably one of the biggest fears you have when you hit the trails and start tackling the more treacherous terrain.
If you do roll over, not even the strongest steel bumpers in the world are going to help you.
Ideally, the best way to handle a rollover is to know how to prevent it.
Since that isn’t always possible and you could roll over anyway, it’s good to know what to do before your truck rolls, while it’s rolling, and then after it comes to a stop.
Rollovers happen when your truck’s center of gravity gets too high and the vehicle loses balance enough to tip over.
Like most people, your focus is likely on what to do to prevent a rollover; however, sometimes rollovers just happen even when you do everything right.
To get through an unpreventable rollover safely, you should prepare your truck with the intent that it will roll, as opposed to having the "won't happen to me" attitude.
Preparing for A Rollover
Most of the injuries and fatalities that happen when vehicles roll are caused by objects moving around within the vehicle.
Typically, the occupants of an off-road truck rolling at a slower rate of speed survive unscathed unless they are struck by objects in the cab with them such as tools, trail gear, extra parts, and whatever else is along for the ride.
Considering this, the first priority in preparing for an accidental rollover is making sure everything that could become a flying projectile is contained or strapped down.
Spare vehicle parts, extra supplies, and anything else you might be carrying in your vehicle must be securely tied down.
Spare tires, your truck battery, external off-road lights, hi-jack lifts, and other accessories must be securely attached to the vehicle.
Even smaller items that you might have in the cab with you like water bottles and electronic equipment should be affixed or contained somehow and of course everyone in the vehicle should be wearing a seatbelt with shoulder harness.
If rolling over is a definite concern, head protection is a good idea so if it happens, you’ll be as safe as possible.
Staying Safe During A Roll
Once your truck is rolling, there isn’t much you can do about it.
The natural instinct is usually to put your arms out to brace or try to stop the roll; however, all this will lead to is your arms getting banged up or even broken.
Instead, everyone inside the vehicle should protect themselves by compacting down and bracing toward the center of the vehicle.
Hold onto something other than the doors or the roll cage handles. Grabbing your seatbelt or interior grab handles is best.
As the driver, grab the steering wheel to both brace yourself; if you can control your panic and just think as you’re rolling, work your front wheels to try to stop the roll.
You may be able to do that by turning your wheels uphill and gassing the throttle a bit if you end up back on your wheels for an instant.
Sometimes you can prevent a second roll and rescue yourself by getting the truck moving forward again.
What to Do After You’ve Rolled
After a roll, don’t do anything until the truck has come to a complete stop and you’re not in danger of rolling anymore.
Once it has stopped, immediately turn off the engine and electrical system to prevent damaging your motor as well as turn off the fuel pump.
If possible, get someone outside the vehicle to make sure you’re safe to start getting out and there’s no danger of rolling even more.
Then once it’s safe to do so, carefully undo your seatbelt and support yourself as you unhook if you’re sideways or upside down.
Be cautious as you exit the vehicle and pay attention to any movement.
After you are clear of the truck, you and your friends can then begin the process of getting it back on its feet and assessing the damage including those new steel bumpers.
If You’re Gonna Rollover…
If the inevitable is going to happen, roll over as safely as you can.
Once your 4x4 is rolling down an incline, you won’t be able to stop it.
While preventing a rollover should be your #1 priority, it’s equally important to have an active rollover plan in case you do.
Knowing how to roll will help you stay safe so you can live to tell about it later - and plan how to fix clean up your custom bumpers!