Factors that may cause a forklift truck to overturn:
- Driving around corners too quickly.
- Uneven loading of the forks.
- Driving over potholes.
- Driving with the load elevated, especially when going around corners.
- Uneven tire pressures.
- Driving across a slope rather than straight up or down the slope.
- Excessive braking.
- Collisions, especially with kerbs.
A driver may lose control of their vehicle for various reasons, such as:
–– Driver error (e.g. driving too fast).
–– Environmental conditions (e.g. mud on the road).
–– Mechanical failure (e.g. brake failure).
Depending on the type of vehicle being driven, this loss of control may result in a skid, collision or overturn of the vehicle.
Some vehicles, because of their design or environment of use, are more likely to overturn than others. Forklift trucks (which have a very short, narrow wheel-base) and dumper trucks (which have a high center of gravity and are often used on rough terrain) are frequently involved in overturning accidents.
When a vehicle overturns, the driver can easily be trapped or crushed between the vehicle and the floor unless precautions are taken to retain the driver in a safe location – this is why the use of seat belts is so important.