Estimation of heavy vehicle rollover potential using reliability principles

P. Cruz, T. Echaveguren, P. González


Rollover is defined as a moving vehicle’s abrupt loss of the trajectory of the center of gravity. In horizontal curves, it refers to overturning by an unbalance of the lateral acceleration. The likelihood that this turnover occurs can be estimated by studying the static rollover potential, which is calculated with lateral acceleration thresholds that, when being exceeded, make the vehicle to suffer a rollover. These models consider the geometry of the vehicle, the road and operating speed, and sometimes the vehicle’s suspension system. This approach is suitable for analyzing the rollover potential of individual vehicles, but it is not very practical when analyzing vehicle fleets driving at operating speeds that follow a probability distribution according to the geometrical conditions of the environment and the type of vehicle. This work analyzes the rollover phenomenon through a probabilistic approach based on the reliability theory, which allows estimating the rollover risk considering random variables. It applies the Hasofer-Lind First-Order Reliability Method to calculate the rollover probability, based on the geometry, type of vehicle, and operating speed when taking horizontal curves. Additionally, it discusses three rollover calculation methods and presents the reliability theory concepts used herein. This paper describes the construction of limit state functions, experimental design, input data, and the failure probability curves for 4 types of vehicle and 3 input speeds. It was concluded that it is not recommendable to use a horizontal curve radius of less than 170 m, especially because heavy vehicles run the risk of suffering rollover.


Rollover, lateral acceleration, operating speed, radius, failure probabilty, reliability



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2017 Revista Ingeniería de Construcción

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.