There are few accidents that can result in catastrophic injuries of the kind seen in rollover accidents. Indiana personal injury lawyers find that these are some of the deadliest crashes in Indiana, and contribute to 30% of auto accident fatalities every year. One of the biggest risks to occupants of vehicles during a rollover, is the risk of ejection. Even passengers who are wearing seat belts can be at risk of ejection from a vehicle during a rollover accident.
A new rule by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration aims to reduce the number of occupants ejected during rollovers. The new rule announced last week will require automakers to enhance their vehicles to ensure that occupants remain inside the vehicle during a rollover. According to the NHTSA, the rule, which is likely to cover all vehicles by 2018, will ensure fewer ejections, and therefore, fewer fatalities in a rollover. Automakers will likely use rollover sensor-equipped side airbags or stronger glass to prevent ejections during a rollover accident.
This new rule comes a few months after the NHTSA issued final roof crush and strength standards. The new standards require that vehicles weighing up to 6,000 pounds withstand at least three times their weight in force. That is an increase of 100% over the previous standard. The NHTSA’s new rules also include testing standards. Earlier, the standard only had a stationary vehicle being tested on one side. The new standards will require both sides of the vehicle to be tested.
This is all part of the NHTSA’s efforts to reduce the approximately 10,000 deaths that occur every year in rollover accidents in the US. Those numbers have declined slightly over the past two years, as the increased use of electronic stability control systems in cars helps prevent rollovers.