When you’re on a riding mower, you need to be careful not to mow at steep angles that could lead to a rollover accident. Many mowers have roll bars and stabilizers to help prevent you from rolling, but those could fail or be defective.
There are some reasons that your mower could tip over or roll, even when you are following the manufacturer’s specifications and suggestions. In some cases, you may be able to make a claim if a mower’s defect led to instability or if you’re hurt because the protections that were supposed to be in place failed.
Here are three reasons your mower might roll while you’re doing your work.
- You hit something that changes the angle of the slope
Defects in the mower may make it less stable than it should be. Even if you are working at an appropriate angle, a mower could roll if it is thrown off-balance for some reason, such as hitting a rock or root. It’s a good practice to avoid mowing at any angle over 15 degrees. If you need to mow a steep area, consider using a trimmer or push mower to maintain better control in the conditions.
- You hit loose soil or a loose retaining wall
Another situation that creates a risk of rolling over is if you hit an area on a slope that isn’t stable. If a retaining wall is falling away or the ground starts to sink at the lower angle, your mower could end up rolling despite the initial grade of the slope being acceptable. Watch out for wet areas of grass or dirt that may cause one side of the mower to sink in because this could cause instability and result in your riding mower rolling over.
- You’re traveling too fast for the conditions
Speed plays a role in rollover incidents. When you’re on a steeper angle, take it slow. You don’t want to hit uneven ground or a ledge and end up flipping because your mower is going too quickly. Unfortunately, when speed is combined with a steeper grade, you do increase the risk of rolling if you hit something, like roots, rocks and uneven ledges.
If your mower rolls over, it may not be the equipment’s fault. However, if you were following the manufacturer’s specifications or were injured because of safety features that failed, you may have a claim.