Rolling over in a vehicle are some of the deadliest and most traumatic accidents that happen on the road.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), rollover accidents are not very common but have a higher fatality rate than other types of accidents. Rollover accidents only count for 2% of all crashes, but in that 2% they account for more than 1/3 of passenger deaths.
So what is being done to reduce the dangers of rollover accidents?
Electronic Stability Control (ESC)
ESC helps prevent vehicles from losing control and sliding sideways which can lead to a rollover. It works by applying the brakes to help “steer” the vehicle where the driver wants to go. It automatically applies the brakes to each individual wheel as needed. This technology has reduced the risk of fatal one-car rollover accidents by more than 70%. ESC became mandatory in all passenger vehicles in 2012, so most modern cars have this safety feature as standard.
Roof Build Quality
A strong roof can mean the difference between injury and death in a rollover accident. Having ESC in your vehicle can help prevent losing control when driving, but the risk of a rollover can still occur. That is why the IIHS has a roof strength rating for vehicles. Seat-belts, and side curtain air-bags help to protect people inside a vehicle during a rollover, but the vehicle’s roof must be able to with stand the pressure of hitting the ground without caving in and trapping people inside.
The stronger the roof the less likely it will crush, which reduces the risk of people being injured by coming in contact with the roof itself during the rollover. It also means that it can prevent people, especially those who are not wearing a seat-belt, from being ejected through the windows, windshield, or doors that have been broken or opened because the roof has been deformed during the accident.
How Does the IIHS Test a Roof?
The strength of a vehicle’s roof is determined by pushing a metal plate against the side of a roof at a slow, but constant, speed. The force from the metal plate is relative to how much the vehicle weighs, known as the strength-to-weight ratio. The peak strength-to-weight ratio is recorded the moment the roof is crushed by 5 inches.
A Good Strength Rating for a Roof
The rating scale is from 0-8, a good rating requires a strength-to-weight ratio score of at least 4. A vehicle’s roof must be able to withstand at least 4 times its own weight before caving in 5 inches. For an acceptable rating, the minimum score allowed is 3.25, and for a marginal rating it is 2.5 at least. Anything lower than a marginal rating is considered poor in roof strength safety.
As technology continues to advance, cars and trucks could be getting safer in the years to come. Maybe to a point where they are 100% death-proof, but until that day comes we must be aware of the dangers we face on the road and remember to stay focused when driving. Knowing how your vehicle ranks in safety tests done by the IIHS is a good way to find out how safe your car or truck really is.
Safe Cars & Trucks for 2016
If you are searching for a new car for an upcoming student going off to college, or starting their first year of high school with a driver’s license, visit the IIHS website for their 2016 Top Safest Picks for new cars and trucks on the market.
Jeff Is Here 4 You
Have you or a loved one been the victim of a terrible rollover accident? Jeff is here for you! At Davis Law Firm, we are standing by 24/7 to answer your call and listen to your case. Our team of legal representatives offer free consultation for your case so don’t suffer another day and contact us today!