For less than $100 per car, auto manufacturers have the ability to strengthen roofs to the point that most lives lost from roof failure would have been saved. Joan Claybrook, public safety advocate and former head of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) from 1977 to 1980, says roof-crush is a critical problem in today’s vehicles. A recent article in the Detroit News, Claybrook expressed her concern on the urgency of new roof crush standards. “These are the most preventable injuries in auto crashes. The cardinal principle of occupant protection is the integrity of the passenger compartment.”
Almost 40 years ago, NHTSA adopted Rule 216 of the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS). The rule was created as a temporary safety measure,. FMVSS 216 required roofs to be able to withstand a force of 1.5 times the weight of the vehicle. NHTSA officials recently proposed updating the regulation with today’s technological advancements by requiring roofs to be able to withstand 2.5 times the vehicle weight in an accident. Nearly every major car manufacturer is opposed to the new regulation which would require them to increase the current for of 1.5 to 2.5 for every vehicle under 5,000 pounds.
FMVSS leaves a major legal loophole open for SUVs weighing more than 5,000 pounds. Vehicles that are over the 5,000 pound mark set by FMVSS 216 are not affected by governmental regulation in regards to their roof. Auto manufacturers are free to design and build these vehicles without the safety standards that are normally associated with smaller passenger vehicles.
If you or a loved one have been involved in a roof crush accident involving serious injuries, contact the attorneys at Patterson Legal Group, LC today for a free initial consultation. To take on the world’s largest corporations, you need strength, knowledge and experience only experienced roof crush attorneys can provide. Patterson Legal Group, LC has held major car companies accountable and forced to them compensate our clients for unnecessary deaths and injuries.