Every year more than 10,000 people die in rollover crashes. Although only four percent of all crashes are rollovers, they account for one-third of all occupant fatalities. Despite repeated requests from safety advocates and members of Congress over the past two decades, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has failed to establish a standard for rollover prevention, implementing instead a weak consumer information program.
Rollover crashes do not have to be deadly, as the crash forces in a rollover are spread out over a period of a couple of seconds and thus less severe than other types of crashes such as frontal and side impact crashes. This suggests that rollovers are dangerous due to poor vehicle design. In addition, safety belts and seat structures are not made to keep occupants in place during a crash, and vehicle roofs are so flimsy that when they absorb the full weight of the car they crush into occupants’ heads and spines, inflicting very serious injuries. Public Citizen supports the creation of a dynamic rollover standard, supported by mandatory crashworthiness protections, in addition to providing consumers with effective, readily available vehicle-specific information at the point-of-sale.
More on Roof Crush and Rollovers
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Chronologies on Rollover and Roof Crush Safety:
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