Rollover accidents account for a huge portion of occupant fatalities and one-fourth of all of automobile accident related deaths every year. Somehow, however, these rollovers are very survivable crashes, because the forces that are applied to occupants during the collision are much lower than those experienced in other types of crashes. This suggests that rollovers are dangerous due to poor vehicle design.
Safety belts and seats are not designed to keep passengers in place during a crash, plus, vehicle roofs are so weak that when they take the full weight of the car on, they crush the occupants’ heads and spines.
SUVs are one of the most deadly vehicles for rollover crush accidents, due to their extremely heavy weight and particular design. The riding compartment of SUVs, also called the greenhouse, juts into the air and slams into the ground with extreme force due to its shape. In the early nineties, the NHTSA discontinued work on rollover prevention standards, by saying that a series of improvements in rollover crashworthiness and consumer information would be forthcoming. Some of these improvements included advanced window glazes to stop ejections and incentives to increase seat belt usage.
The NHTSA also promised that roofs would be stronger in public statements. So far, none of these regulations on rollover crashworthiness have been administered. This is particularly shocking when you consider that the number of SUVs that are being driven by the public has skyrocketed since the early nineties.
Why do you think this is?
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