Imagine the uproar that would happen if the front or rear bumper of your vehicle suffered a 5 mph accident and an occupant inside died or suffered a catastrophic injury? Imagine the uproar that would happen if the side door of your vehicle suffered a 5 mph accident and an occupant inside died or suffered a catastrophic injury? This is precisely what is happening in rollover accidents however.
GMC’s Malibu testing revealed that most roofs cannot withstand a 5 mph vertical impact without crushing in and killing or seriously injuring the occupant. According to Malibu, the vertical velocity or speed the vehicle drops to the ground in a rollover is never more that 5 mph. However, the roof crush velocity is substantially faster than the vertical drop velocity.
To demonstrate this point, put two 12″ rulers on the table and tape the middle where they meet allowing the rulers to move. Tape the left end of the ruler to the table and push the ruler on the right toward the left. Even though the ruler on the right has moved laterally only ½ inch, it has moved in the middle 2 ¼ inches. The ruler traveled 5 times the distance in the middle as it traveled at the end in the same amount of time.
Simply put, the speed of the roof crush buckling is what kills and maims people; and this can be avoided with a stronger roof structure. It is the job of auto manufacturers to produce motor vehicles with roofs strong enough to withstand the pressures of an accident.
At the TRACY Firm, we handle vehicle safety defect product liability cases that includes roof crush and rollover accidents, for clients throughout the United States. We accept referrals from attorneys and we work as primary counsel for individuals. Our work protecting consumers makes a difference in the vehicle industry. Contact us today for more information.
Source: E. Todd Tracy | Dec 8th 2013