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Roof Crush Statistics Out of Control, Study Shows

Mar 24, 2008
A surprising new report outlines that many of the 10,000 deaths suffered by drivers nationwide could have been prevented if their car's roof was made properly. The report outlines the fact that most cars have thin and unstable roofs that make the cars dangerous to drive in.

These roofs collapse and crush inward during any rollover situation, causing serious damage and deaths each year. In response to the attention the auto industry has responded with a defense known as the "diving theory" which has proven to be entirely false.

In auto industry documents and other materials that were uncovered over the past three decades researchers found that carmakers knew that stronger roofs would save lives but did nothing about it. In 2005 the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) revealed that there was a definitive link between a car's roof strength, crushing and injuries. Several other studies have shown that stronger roofs save the lives of everyone in the car, even during a rollover or other traumatic accident.

In one Volvo run safety study the car manufacturer revealed that roof structure played a causal role in the rate of head and neck injuries during an accident. Deformations in the roof structure and its ability to be crushed increased the rate of injury and death.

In addition, Volvo's conclusions added that headspace within the car also saved lives. The less a person's head touched the roof of their car, the higher the chance of reduced injury and death that person had.

While Volvo released the data to the industry and made steps in improving safety in its own vehicles, most all other carmakers have yet to do the same.

Roof safety has been an issue for the past three decades as carmakers struggled to understand how to make their vehicles safer and more cost-effective. Cutting costs by not putting enough engineering know how into creating a more solid roof has led to increase in injuries and deaths.

American carmakers Chevrolet and Ford have been especially slow to respond to accusations that their roofs are not safe for people to drive under. While carmakers are adding new safety features like air bags and others they do little to work well during a rollover.

The study also revealed that since 1972 fatalities on US highways have decreased, even taking into account the increase in the number of drivers and cars on the roads. Deaths and injuries blamed on roof crushes and rollovers have been on the rise over the past three decades, however.

The new data suggests that stronger roofs would improve driver and rider safety tremendously, keeping in line with all of the other improvements to auto safety over the years.
About the Author
John Bisnar is a partner at Newport Beach Personal Injury Law Firm Bisnar Chase. The Bisnar Chase law firm has dedicated their practice to victims of serious injuries due to defective products, negligence and malpractice.

Visit http://www.bestattorney.com or call 888-265-0161
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