In a recent car crash safety test conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, two sport-utility vehicles — the Kia Sportage and Hyundai Tucson — received poor ratings in a roof-strength test for SUV rollover accidents.
Among car accident safety researchers, rollover car accidents are a huge concern. About 2.5 percent of all the crashes each year involve rollovers, but they result in about 10,000 wrongful deaths.
Our car accident attorneys cannot comprehend how car manufacturers can pretend to ignore these statistics in their chase for money. Is saving about 10,000 innocent lives every year from wrongful death car accidents worth it?
Only four of the small sport-utility vehicles evaluated in a new test to see how well their roofs held up in a rollover crash got “good” ratings, and some of the country’s most popular models did not fare well.
The new roof-strength test, conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, is far more demanding than the minimum standard set by the federal government. The tests show there is a striking difference in how well cars protect their occupants. About ten thousand people are dying every year in rollover car accidents, but research conducted by the NHTSA shows they do not have to be.
The federal government only requires a car to be able to support a roof strength equivalent to 1.5 times its own weight. According to the study conducted by NHTSA, increasing the standard to 2.5 times would cut rollover fatalities by 20-25%, and increasing the standard to 3.5 times would cut that number by an additional 20-25%.
The roof strength standard has been kept at 1.5 times ever since 1973. Our car accident law firm believes that implementing a higher required roof strength is extremely important. An acceptable rating requires the roof to withstand 3.25 times the car’s weight. A marginal rating requires withstanding 2.5 times the vehicle’s weight. A poor rating is anything less than 2.5 times the vehicle’s weight.
Starting with 2010 models, the institute will issue its “Top Safety Pick” label to any car that does not get a good rating in the roof-crush test. Currently, vehicles are required to have good ratings in frontal, side and rear-impact tests and offer electronic stability control as standard equipment. By doing this, thousands of lives may potentially be saved from wrongful death car accidents.
Please feel free to call us now at 1-858-551-2090 or you can click here for a free consultation with an experienced car accident attorney. We have a large bilingual staff that can assist you in either English or Spanish. No fee if no recovery.