Consumer Affairs reports that automakers are urging the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to reconsider its proposed regulations regarding roof crush resistance requirements. The goal of NHTSA’s proposed standards is to increase vehicle roof strength by more than 50% in an effort to reduce deaths and serious injuries from rollover crashes. Rollover crashes account for roughly 10,000 fatalities annually, which is 25% of all traffic deaths in the United States.
According to Consumer Affairs, the industry estimates the cost of implementation could reach $100 million. The auto industry argues that it is concerned about the potential for heavier and less aerodynamic vehicles which in turn increases fuel consumption and emissions.
On the other hand, Advocates for Highway Safety argue that the automakers are just trying to dilute the NHTSA safety initiative.
NHTSA figures report that 596 deaths and 807 injuries are caused by head contact with a collapsed roof every year. Congress has required the implementation of the new roof regulations by July 2008.
If you or a family member believes that you have a case involving injury due to a rollover an defective automobile, please contact us on-line at Regan Zambri & Long or call us at (202) 753-4272 for a free consultation. If you would like to receive our complimentary electronic newsletter, please click here.