Caravan Rollover Reports and Images - updated June 2019

Click on any small pic in the gallery on the left and it will appear in the viewer on the right. Click on 'caption' below the viewer to see date and location of pic in viewer (Pics: State and Territory Police, Local Media and Passers-by)

Rollover Reports - updated June 2019

Until mid-2018 a few (but major) Australian insurance companies provided RV Books with caravan rollover data. We reported this yearly-updated data.This was, however, wrongly perceived by many readers and caravan makers as the Australian total. It was not: it was that reported by far from all insurers. Some refused to provide data for 'commercial in-confidence' reasons.

Of those who did release it to us, the data shows a worrying close to doubling of rollovers each year. Of those reported there were seven in 2015, 11 in 2016, 22 in 2017 and approximately 50 in 2018. As far from all major insurers revealed data the actual numbers are almost certainly more than shown above.

Further, the data was only for rollovers - it did not include the many caravan and tow vehicle rigs that jack-knifed but did not then roll over. Major Queensland vehicle (accident) recovery company Clayton's Towing website reports many examples of both types of such incidents.

RV Books later found that many people, with presumably vested interests (or owners in denial) were 'cherry-picking' the data (particularly on one caravan forum) in attempts to play down the clearly growing magnitude of this issue. This too rightly concerned both RV Books and the insurers.

Because of this, such data is now only available to us from a few insurers. This data is statistically insufficient to continue attempting to report it.

Historical

The following are reports (for the past three years to mid-August 2018) of rollovers that were reported online only. There are many more unreported ones. Our previously insurance company rollover data suggests only about 10% of caravan rollovers are reported in the media.

Caravan rollovers are tragic, but they are also an important towing safety indicator. Most happen without involving other vehicles or objects and often occur on straight roads. These rarely show up in road accident statistics, which focus (rightly) on accidents involving fatalities and serious injuries.

Fatalities in rollovers are rare, mainly because the caravan has no occupants and other vehicles are generally not involved. Passenger injuries in the tow vehicle, however, are not uncommon, since the forces involved in a rollover are such that a caravan can also topple its tow vehicle as it rolls.

RV Books has deliberated whether to show images related to each report. We have decided to do so to convey the horrific nature and the strength of the forces involved in these accidents. If you have been personally impacted by one of these incidents and would like a photo removed, please contact us and we will readily do so.

Please note that the presence of any particular brand of tow vehicle or trailer in these photos does NOT mean that these vehicles are unsafe - it is how they are driven and laden that are primary factors in these accidents.

Media reports are often made shortly after an incident and as such the reporter is not able (nor usually technically competent) to comment on the cause of the rollover. RV Books is also not in a position to comment on the specific causes of specific incidents. We do, however, make some some general comments in our conclusion. We also explain in practical terms what causes a rollover here. See also our book Why Caravans Rollover - and how to prevent it. 

Readers may also be interested in a report by Clayton's Towing, a tow truck company based in Queensland that is involved in the aftermath of many such accidents. The report offers their 'front line' insight into possible causes of some of the rollovers they have been involved in. You can read their report here.

Click on an incident location below to view the report. Please note that Report Links will expire over time. This is because media organisations archive their online reports (hence more reports of more recent incidents). We remove 'dead' Report Links from time to time but some will be there as no notice is given by the media organisations.

"The section of road was flat and straight with no apparent hazards." - Words and pic: NT News
"The section of road was flat and straight with no apparent hazards."

Words and pic: NT News

2018

2017

2016

2015

Conclusion

Every one of these incidents is a personal catastrophe for those involved. 

RV Books, however, believes that most caravan rollovers in Australia are avoidable.

 Improved co-ordination on towing safety matters in Australia is needed to understand and reduce these types of accidents. Manufacturers, legislators, owners, industry organisations, insurance companies, caravan clubs and the media should be working together towards achieving a 'zero caravan rollovers' objective.

Read more about Why Caravans Rollover - and how to prevent it here. It is endorsed by the Caravan Council of Australia - a not for profit buyer-oriented organisation.


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