Each year almost 9,000 people are killed in rollover accidents in the U.S., or approximately 30 percent of all light vehicle occupant fatalities. The number of injuries is significantly higher. During a rollover, if the vehicle roof is not strong enough, it can fail, causing it to buckle into the passenger compartment, leading to serious head and neck injuries.
Many vehicles have a weak roof structure built of thin sheet-metal and semi-tubular pieces with many indentations and cutouts. Weak points in roof design can cause the roof to cave in during a rollover accident, pushing it downward into the passenger compartment and onto the occupant’s neck and head causing serious injuries.
A strong vehicle “safety cage” should be mandated as a safety features in all motor vehicles. A 2008 study by The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety [IIHS] found that strong roofs reduce the risk of fatal or incapacitating injury in rollover crashes. This was confirmed by a second IIHS study using different vehicles. These two IIHS studies were the first studies to show the correlation between roof strength and injury risk. The IIHS concluded that stronger roofs reduce the risk of ejection and the risk of injury for occupants remaining in the vehicle.
Even though all new vehicles are equipped with Electronic Stability Control [ESC], the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that 9,000 rollover fatalities still occur annually. ESC can help a driver maintain control of the vehicle in some situations, but not all. For example, ESC may not be able to prevent a rollover accident when a car is impacted by another vehicle. Additionally, electronic stability devices cannot always adequately detect roadside obstacles, tire failures or complete losses of traction with the road surface due to weather conditions. All vehicles, even those with ESC, need strong roofs, safety cages and effective restraint systems to protect occupants in rollover accidents.
If you have been injured in a rollover accident where roof crush occurred, you need an experienced lawyer well acquainted with vehicle models and manufacturers who can deduce all the causal factors involved in your accident. Contact the experienced national auto product liability lawyers at Craft Law Firm.