Weak Vehicle-roof Support and the Increases Chances of More Severe Injuries during Rollover Accidents
Multiple-vehicle collisions are among the deadliest types of car accidents in the US. These include rear-end collisions, head-on collisions and side-impact crashes, also called side-swipes or T-bones. More dangerous than any of these, however, are rollover accidents, which have claimed more lives and greater damages in the past years.
Based on the figures released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), more than 10,000 individuals are killed each year from rollover accidents alone, which number to more than 280,000. And the types of vehicles that are more prone to rollover accidents are pick-up trucks, vans and SUVs. This is because the center of gravity of these vehicles, compared to cars, is higher from the ground.
Collapsing vehicle roof is a major cause of severe injuries and fatalities during rollover accidents. A vehicle’s roof crashing down on the driver and the other passengers’ head and spine, is enough to cause severe head and spinal injuries.
One reason for roof collapse is failure of the roof pillars, the vertical structures which hold up the vehicle’s roof, as the vehicle rolls over. There are usually six (if counted individually) or three pairs of roof pillars: the A-pillars, which support the windshield, front side windows and the beginning of the roof. These can also channel the electrical wiring for the lights at the rear of the vehicle and for overhead lighting. The two other pairs are the B and C pillars; the former are the vertical supports between the front and rear doors, while the latter joins the vehicle’s rear side and rear windows.
Despite the great danger posed by weak roof support, many vehicles are built with reduced pillar strength to lessen vehicle weight and lower its cost. This move, though, also greatly increases the risk of serious injury for the driver and his/her passengers. Thus, to ensure the safety of every occupant even when the vehicle rolls over, the government has mandated a roof crush resistance standard which manufacturers should incorporate in every vehicle built.
Besides the roof crush resistance standard, the NHTSA has also required manufacturers to make the electronic stability control system (ESC) a basic feature of every car. The ESC is designed to give drivers greater control of their vehicles, especially when these skid, to lessen the possibility of a rollover.
Rollover and roof crash are usually direct results of poor vehicle design to which the manufacturer can be held totally liable. Filing a lawsuit against car companies, with your injuries as proof of their failure to make safe vehicles, may result either to a lost cause or a compensation that is far too short of the amount that you really deserve. With a good lawyer who is determined to fight for your rights and apply the full extent of the law for your benefit, then you might just get the amount of compensation that you are legally entitled to.