The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has issued a study on the relatiionship of roof strength in SUV’s and injuries sustained in an automobile accident involving a rollover. The study reveals that “roof strength definitely influences injury risk.”
All passenger vehicles currently on the market meet, some even exceed, the governmental standard for roof strength. Yet, 35% of all deaths in auto accidents involve rollovers. That’s the average. In SUV’s, however, 59% of all deaths are related to rollover accidents.
The IIHS suggests that by increasing the roof strength from 1.5 times the weight of the vehicle (the current standard) to 2.5 times the weight of the SUV, deaths in rollover related accidents could be reduced by 28%. Previous studies performed by the auto industry reported no relationship at all between “roof strength and injury risk in rollovers.”
The government is reviewing the current standards for roof strength and one would hope they would review this current study when setting any new standards.