U.S. Weighs New Standard for Vehicle Roof Strength
U.S. highway safety regulators may toughen crush resistance standards on cars and truck roofs to reduce injuries in rollovers, the most dangerous type of wreck for sport/utility vehicles, pickups, and minivans.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is considering changes after finding roof crush damage involved in serious or fatal injury to 26 percent of passengers in rollover crashes. The agency said in a statement that a study of 1995-1999 accident data showed that passengers were al-most six times more likely to die in a rollover crash than a front-end wreck.
Roof crush tests designed in 1973 fail to meet needs of changing auto designs, especially for pas-senger trucks and sport/utilities that are most likely to roll over in an accident, said Mike Eidson, a Coral Gables, FL, attorney.
The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, whose members make 90 percent of U.S.-sold vehicles, said roofs already work to protect the passengers.