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Crushing embarrassment


You’d think that because more than a third of all highway fatalities happen in rollover crashes, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) would be doing everything they could to prevent these tragic deaths. But while the last three decades have witnessed state-of-the-art upgrades in nearly every aspect of vehicle design, from ergonomic seats to fuel efficiency, the federal roof strength standard remains virtually unchanged since the early 1970s.

Watch our press conference that will demonstrate the inadequacy of NHTSA’s static test compared to footage of a test that reproduces real-world conditions via live Webcast at 12 p.m. EST on Tuesday, Sept. 9 at the Center for Auto Safety home page.

Instead of requiring a dynamic test that reproduces the real-world conditions of a rollover crash, NHTSA lets automakers get away with an inaccure and unreliable static test. So Public Citizen has teamed up with the Center for Injury Research and the Center for Auto Safety to hightlight the dramatically difference between the results of this embarrassing, outdated testing system compared with the results of a dynamic test, the Jordan Rollover System test (see video above).

Why is it so important to reproduce real-world conditions? Among other reasons, a repeatable dynamic test allows testers to observe what happens to crash-test dummies during these crashes so auto engineers can improve structural strength and save lives. Read more about our work on roof strength at our Auto Safety Group home page.