Operations

Feds Want New Rules to Strengthen Roofs in Rollovers

Posted on September 8, 2005 by LCT Staff - Also by this author - About the author

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Federal regulators have proposed new rules to bolster car and truck roofs, an area of increasing concern because of the rising number of deaths in vehicle rollovers. But the proposal appears to fall short of requirements in recently passed highway legislation and is far less than what many safety advocates had hoped for.

The proposed rules would subject large SUVs, pickup trucks and vans to roof integrity regulations for the first time, and they would bolster current testing procedures. Vehicle-roof strength has been one of the most contentious auto safety issues in recent years. General Motors and the Ford Motor Co. have argued that the crushing of a vehicle's roof during a rollover makes little difference in determining whether an occupant is injured or not. They say their own testing shows that roof-related injuries generally occur when people are thrown into a vehicle's roof the instant before it crushes.

Roof strength has become a more prominent issue because of the proliferation of SUVs and large pickup trucks. Because those vehicles ride higher off the ground than cars, they are at more risk of rollovers, which claim more than 10,000 lives a year.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that roof cave-ins of varying degrees cause the deaths of nearly 600 people annually who are wearing seat belts and another 800 serious injuries. But the new proposal would save only a small fraction of those lives, preventing 13 to 44 deaths a year, according to federal estimates. The cost for design changes would be about $11.81 a vehicle, or $88 million to $95 million.

Under current federal test procedures, which were drafted in the early 1970s, a flat steel plate is placed against the driver's side of a vehicle's roof and pressed down with a force equivalent to one-and-a-half times the vehicle's weight, up to a maximum of 5,000 lbs. for passenger cars. To comply, a vehicle's roof must prevent the plate from moving more than five inches.

Under new proposed testing procedures, the force would be increased to 2.5 times a vehicle's weight. Instead of the five-inch requirement, the roof must stay intact enough to avoid contact with the head of a crash test dummy.

Current rules also apply only to vehicles weighing up to 6,000 lbs. New rules would apply to vehicles up to 10,000 lbs., including Hummers, large pickup trucks and 15-passenger vans.

View comments or post a comment on this story. (0 Comments)

More News

Uber Takes Biggest Bite Out Of Taxi, Rental Car Industries

Money spent on rental cars and taxis each fell by two percent to 29% and 8%, respectively.

Sick Day? Vacation Day? With PTO, It Doesn't Matter

Robert Gaskill of Motev in Los Angeles explains how his company deals with employees who need time off.

Uber Tries To Stop Driver Exodus By Treating Them Better

The TNC admits the way it handles drivers is an "existential threat" to its $70 billion business.

Charter Bus Booked Solid For Total Eclipse

The city of Washington, Missouri is making a three-day event of the solar phenomenon, with events starting Aug. 19.

 

All-Tesla Service Partners With Environmental Film Festival

Los Angeles-based MOTEV will showcase one of its new P90X models during the event.

See More News

Facebook Comments ()

Comments (0)

Post a Comment

Submit

Blog

See More

LCT Store

LCT Magazine - July 2017 $12.95 COVER STORY: * Why These Titans Work So Hard to Give it Away * *



Connect

Experience the three annual industry events for networking for business, showcasing vehicles and products, and getting the tools for success.

Read About Your Region

What’s Happening Near You?
Click on any state to see the latest industry news and events in that region.

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher

Automotive Fleet

The Car and truck fleet and leasing management magazine

Business Fleet

managing 10-50 company vehicles

Fleet Financials

Executive vehicle management

Government Fleet

managing public sector vehicles & equipment

TruckingInfo.com

THE COMMERCIAL TRUCK INDUSTRY’S MOST IN-DEPTH INFORMATION SOURCE

Work Truck Magazine

The number 1 resource for vocational truck fleets

Metro Magazine

Serving the bus and passenger rail industries for more than a century

Schoolbus Fleet

Serving school transportation professionals in the U.S. and Canada

Please sign in or register to .    Close