Test results conducted by the Insurance Institute For Highway Safety found that the stronger the SUV’s roof, the lower the risks of serious injury or death.
The IIHS tested 11 sport utility vehicles and found that the stronger roofs had a 39%-57% lower injury risk than SUVs with weaker roofs.
The IIHS says that over 200 lives could have been saved in 2006, during rollover accidents, if the SUVs had better roofs. 35% of motor vehicle deaths involve rollover crashes, with 60% of these rollovers involving SUVs.
The SUV’s roof that received the highest strength rating was the 2000-2004 Nissan Xterra. The SUV’s roof that received the lowest strength rating was the 1999- 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee.
A roof that crushes in during a rollover can cause serious injuries to passengers, who can sustain traumatic brain injuries or traumatic brain injuries when struck by the crushed roof.
Examples tragic SUV rollover accidents involving crushed roofs:
• Tyler Moody, 18, died of “positional asphyxiation “during an SUV rollover crash. His family’s wrongful death attorneys said the crushed roof cut off his breathing.
• Recently, a California appeals court ordered Ford to pay a paralyzed woman $82.6 million for injuries sustained during an SUV rollover also involving a crushed roof.
A trade group that represents Toyota, GM, Chrysler, and a few other auto makers, called the study flawed.
SUV Accident Facts from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:
• Over 90% of SUV rollover crashes are single-car accidents.
• The most common kind of injury sustained in rollover crashes is head trauma.
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