Roof Crush

Roof crushes are a direct result of a rollover accident. The original roof crash threshold was established in the 1970s before SUVs became a popular vehicle. The previous test measured roof strength with the windshield in place, though in most rollovers, the windshield is displaced during the first roll. Now, the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety (IIHS) has improved the roof crash testing criteria. During the new test, the roof should be able to handle a force of four times the weight of the automobile itself.

A roof crush occurs when an SUV rolls over. When an SUV’s center of gravity is disrupted, the vehicle becomes unstable and can roll over. Since SUV’s are raised off the ground, their center of gravity is different than a traditional automobile. Any imbalance can cause an SUV rollover crushed roof. Other cars have flipped over, though most roof crushes are associated with SUV's.

Defects Resulting in Roof Crushes

In the majority of cases, defects cause a rollover accident, which, in turn, results in a roof crush. Defective tires can result in tread separation, causing the driver to lose control. This balance abnormality can result in a rollover accident.

Another problem that can upset the intricate balance between the road and a vehicle is defective material or workmanship. In this case, a part on the vehicle can break or fail. When the driver reacts, they may overcompensate, disturbing the center of gravity for the vehicle.

There is a significant relationship between the post-crash headroom and vertical roof intrusion for serious head and neck injuries. The majority of single automobile accident deaths result from rollover accidents with roof damage. The largest number of lawsuits involve litigation following an incident of a roof crush. Those involved in an accident who have suffered from injuries due to a roof crush may wish to seek compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering.

Resources

  1. O'Donnell, J. (2008, March 4). Crash test report backs stronger roofs on SUV's. USA Today. Retrieved from http://www.usatoday.com/money/autos/2008-03-11-car-roof-safety_N.htm
  2. National Highway Transportation Safety Administration. (NHTSA). (2005, January). NHTSA vehicle safety rulemaking and supporting research priorities: Calendar years 2005-2009. Retrieved from http://www.nhtsa.gov/cars/rules/rulings/priorityplan-2005.html
  3. Public Citizen. (2003). Examples of defective products meeting: Federal standards that proved inadequate to protect consumers from death, injuries. Retrieved from http://www.citizen.org/
  4. Public Citizen. (2002). A fuel economy canard: The auto industry’s history of obstructions on the road to safety. Retrieved from http://www.citizen.org/documents/Auto_industry_safety_obstruction.pdf
  5. Strashny, A. (2007, October). The role of vertical roof intrusion and post crash headroom in predicting roof contact injuries to the head, neck or face during FMVSS No. 216 rollovers: an updated analysis. Retrieved from http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/810847.PDF
  6. Tenenbaum, D. (2009, December 4). Crash tests: Small cars getting safer, still vulnerable. Retrieved from http://hffo.cuna.org/18592/article/2802/html
  7. Twardy, S. (2002, October 17). SUV rollovers: Center of gravity. Goddard space flight center. NASA. Retrieved from http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/vis/a010000/a010000/a010004/