Roof Crush Regulations in Vehicle Rollovers
With all of the standards and regulations required for vehicles today, it comes as a surprise to many when they discover that the government has no performance standard for roofs when it comes to vehicle rollovers. Instead of requiring rollover testing on vehicles before they go to market, the government requires a stationary roof crush rule to test a vehicle roof’s integrity. Determining the structural integrity of a vehicle’s roof is critical, as a crushed roof can injure and kill passengers no matter how well they are restrained. At Mitch Grissim & Associates in Nashville, our team is here to zealously advocate for you after a vehicle rollover accident. Call or contact us today to schedule a free consultation to learn more about your legal options after a crash.
Old Roof Crush Rule
The old roof crush rule was first enacted in 1973, which required automakers to submit a sample of every vehicle model’s roof to a stationary roof crush test before it was sold. During this test, a weight would be pressed against one edge of the roof, and it was required to withstand at minimum 1.5 times the weight of the vehicle. It had to do so up to 5,000 pounds without crushing more than five inches.
New Roof Crush Standards
New roof crush standards were implemented in 2009. Now, vehicles that weigh 6,000 pounds or less must be able to withstand three times the vehicle’s weight applied alternatively to the left and right sides of the roof. The roof is not allowed to crush so far that it would touch the head of a median-height male test crash dummy. For vehicles that weigh between 6,000 and 10,000 pounds, their roofs must be able to withstand 1.5 times their vehicle weight on the roof without crushing.
Issues with the Roof Crush Rule
Many critics have identified problems with the government standard when it comes to the roof crush test. The most prominent issue is that the stationary test does not mimic the forces of a true rollover crash, and advocates are pushing for the regulations to include a roof crush test where the vehicle is actually rolled over at speed. Furthermore, the stationary test does not use an angle on the roof that would accurately simulate how the force is applied to the roof.
Advocates also say that the three times weight standard is not enough because in actual rollover crashes the force on the roof often equates to four times the weight of the vehicle. Because of these issues, it may not be enough to simply check whether a roof meets the government standard when determining whether to purchase or use a particular vehicle.
Let Us Help You Today
Have you or a loved one been injured in a rollover accident in the Nashville area? If so, call or contact the highly qualified Nashville car accident attorneys at Mitch Grissim & Associates today to schedule a free evaluation of your case.