Posted On: March 30, 2009 by Steven J. Malman

With IIHS’ New Auto Safety Rating System Ranking SUV’s According to Roof Strength, Motorists Will Hopefully Buy Autos Less Likely to Cause Injuries and Deaths During Rollover Accidents

This month, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety presented consumers with a new rating system for ranking the strength of sport utility vehicles roofs. This will hopefully make it easier for buyers to pick safer cars when making SUV purchases, as well as compel auto manufacturers to make motor vehicles with stronger roofs so as to decrease the number of injuries and deaths that occur during rollover accidents.

The IIHS reports that over 10,000 people a year die in rollover accidents. This most often occurs when the roof of the vehicle gets crushed, ground, or deformed while rolling over. This is why it is so important for auto manufacturers to design SUV’s and other vehicles with strong roofs. Not only are stronger roofs less prone to getting crushed, but they decrease the chances that vehicle occupants will get hurt when they make contact with the roof.

Out of the 12 SUV’s tested (2008 to 2009 models), only four of them earned a “good rating:” The Jeep Patriot, the Honda Element, the Subaru Forester, and the Tiguan, which was rated as having the strongest roof. The Kia Sportage was rated as having the weakest roof, and received a “poor” rating. The Ford Escape and the Honda CR-V received “marginal” marks, and the Mitsubishi Outlander, the Suzuki Grand Vitara, the Nissan Rogue, the Chevrolet Equinox, and the Toyota Rav 4 received an “acceptable” rating for the strength of their roofs.

SUV Rollover Accident Facts
Rollover accidents can lead to serious injuries, including traumatic brain injuries, crushed bones, spinal cord injuries, and death. Many times, a rollover injury will occur because an occupant is ejected from a vehicle, smashes into the auto’s front or side windows, or strikes his or her head against the roof.

If you or someone you love was injured in an Illinois auto accident because a driver was negligent or because the vehicle you were riding in was poorly made or defectively designed, please contact our Chicago car accident law firm to discuss your case.

Auto manufacturers are supposed to make sure that their vehicles are properly made and all safety precautions are in place to prevent injuries and deaths from occurring unnecessarily. At the same time, drivers are supposed to be careful and make sure that they don’t drive negligently and cause an auto accident.

Roof strength is focus of new rating system; 4 of 12 small SUVs evaluated earn top marks,, March 24, 2009

Related Web Resources:
Rollover: The Hidden History of the SUV, PBS

SUV Rollover Accident and Death Statistics,

Roof Strength and Injury Risk in Rollover Crashes of Passenger Cars and SUV's (PDF)

Contact our Chicago car crash law firm today.

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