Rollover and roof crush is a serious auto product liability issue. Because of a defective or weak roof, vehicle occupants can suffer serious brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, or even death when the collision’s force causes the roof to cave in. These rollover accident victims are put at risk of being rendered disabled for the rest of their lives because of these defective autos. This is particularly true when it comes to several brands of sport utility vehicles or SUVs that have a propensity to roll over because of their high center of gravity.
The federal roof strength standard has not been changed since the 1970s. Large auto makers including Ford and General Motors have lobbied to keep those standards unaltered in spite of knowing that these roofs will only result in more injuries and deaths. It wasn’t until this April that the U.S. Department of Transportation announced new roof standards for light vehicles weighing up to 6,000 pounds.
In an effort to help lower the severity of rollover accidents in Pennsylvania and throughout the nation, the new rule specifies that both the driver and passenger sides of the roof must be capable of withstanding a force equal to three times the weight of the vehicle. The Department of Transportation also announced recently that heavier vehicles from 6,000 to 10,000 pounds must now have both sides of the roof capable of withstanding a force equal to 1.5 times the weight of the vehicle. The phase-in schedule, which begins in September 2012, will be completed for all affected vehicles by the 2017 model year.
These new roof strength standards will hopefully help save thousands of life each year. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), nearly 10,000 people die each year in the United States as a result of rollover accidents. If you or a loved one has been injured or killed in a rollover car accident, please contact Philadelphia’s skilled auto accident lawyers at Anapol Weiss for skilled legal representation. We have the resources that it takes to battle large auto makers and product manufacturers and will put all our resources to work to make sure you get fair compensation for your loss. Our goal is to make sure that manufacturers of defective auto products are held liable for their negligence and apparent disregard for consumer safety.