Caravan Rollover Reports and Images

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 Report Count

2018: 24 (to date)

2017: 22

2016: 11

2015: 7

Total: 64 reports in 3 years

Introduction

On this page RV Books provides links to online media reports of caravan rollovers anywhere in Australia in the last 3 years.

These are rollovers that are reported online only - there are many more unreported ones. Insurance rollover data suggests only about 10% of caravan rollovers are reported in the media.

See here for our estimate of how many rollovers there are each year based on insurance claim data.

Caravan rollovers are tragic, but they are also an important towing safety indicator, since they tend to happen without involving other vehicles or objects and often occur on straight roads. But they also 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, but passenger injuries in the tow vehicle 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 loaded that are primary factors in these accidents.

Media reports are often made shortly after an incident and as such the reporter is not able to comment on the cause of the rollover. RV Books is also not in a position to comment on the specific causes of these incidents, but we do have some general comments to make in our conclusion. We also explain in practical terms what causes a rollover here.

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. Report links will expire over time as media organisations archive their online reports (hence more reports of more recent incidents).

"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. It almost certainly represents the end of an RV dream.

For those involved, a rollover is the final unfortunate link in a chain which would have included RV research, purchase, education and practical towing experience. Rollover victims are not unlucky - somewhere along this chain, something has gone wrong.

The number and nature of caravan rollovers in Australia raises several important questions:

  • why are there so many rollovers and what is causing them?
  • is there an acceptable number of rollovers each year?
  • if the cause (at least in part) is poor driver awareness of the risks involved in towing, how can levels of awareness be improved and who should do this?
  • are our towing rules clear and simple enough to be followed?

RV Books believes there are too many caravan rollovers in Australia. 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 our own views on some of the causes of caravan rollovers here.

And tell us what you think.

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