Improving Roof Strength Is Feasible and Inexpensive
The cost of improving roof strength is minimal, estimated by experts to be well under $50 per vehicle and to require less than 50 lbs. of strengthening materials. New lightweight steel alloys, just announced as marketable this spring, will make these figures even lower in mass production. Moreover, such improvements are very feasible, as made evident by Volvo’s XC-90 SUV, which features a high-strength roof designed specifically to prevent roof crush in a rollover crash.
Given the survivability of these crashes and the availability of lifesaving and limbsaving technology, NHTSA should have a goal of bringing the fatalities from rollover and roof crush to virtually zero, with the ultimate aim of achieving the same level of protection from injury and death for the public as is now enjoyed by professional race car drivers.