US Department of Transportation’s Tougher Vehicle Roof Standards Should Provide Better Protection During Rollover Crashes

The US Department of Transportation has unveiled new roof strength standards that motor vehicle manufacturers must abide by beginning September 2012. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood says that these newer, tougher standards should offer greater protection during rollover crashes.

Included in the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s new regulations:

• Light weight vehicles weighing up to 6,000 pounds will have to be able to withstand a force equivalent to three times the weight of the vehicle. This doubles the current standard requiring that roofs withstand a force that is 1.5 times a vehicle’s weight.

• For the first time, vehicles weighing 6,000 to 10,000 pounds will have to have roofs that can withstand a force equivalent to 1.5 times the motor vehicle’s weight.

All motor vehicles that have to meet these standards must be in compliance by 2017. Secretary LaHood calls rollovers the “deadliest” type of motor vehicle crash that exists today. However, he also wants people to remember that wearing a safety belt can also increase the chances of surviving a rollover accident.

Rollover Accident Facts

About 10,000 people are killed in US rollover accidents each year. Poorly designed roofs can cause the roof to become deformed, decreasing the amount of protection that occupants can avail of during a rollover accident. Just last month, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety introduced its roof rating system for autos.

The rating system will hopefully help car buyers make informed decisions about how well certain vehicles ranked during IIHS testing. 12 SUV’s were tested and the ones that performed the best had roofs that were at least 2 ½ times stronger than the federal government’s current roof requirement standard.

Our Maryland motor vehicle crash lawyers are experienced in working on injury cases involving people hurt in rollover accidents. We understand the complex nature of investigating these kinds of motor vehicle crash cases and we have the experience and resources to successfully pursue your recovery.

U.S. DOT Doubles Roof Strength Standard for Light Vehicles, NHTSA, April 30, 2009
Roof strength is focus of new rating system; 4 of 12 small SUVs evaluated earn top marks,, March 24, 2009
Related Web Resources:

Roof Strength Rating, Status Report (PDF)

Contact our Maryland rollover crash law firm today.

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