Without taking away the seriousness of any type of car accident, some types of crashes tend to carry a higher risk of serious injury and are by nature more dangerous than others. One such type of car accident is a rollover accident, which is when a vehicle is flipped upside down once or a repeated number of times. Rollover accidents are an area of great concern because of the great danger they pose to passengers of the vehicle in terms of sustaining injuries from the roof caving in on them on impact.
Roof crushes are a frequent occurrence during rollovers, but according to the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety and federal safety standards, they can be minimized by ensuring that the roof of the vehicle is strong enough to support the weight of the vehicle when it rolls over. Because of these studies, authorities have placed requirements for automobile designers and manufacturers as it concerns the strength and build of the roofs on their vehicles.
Aside from the obvious dangers posed by a roof crush accident, which involves having passengers trapped or even smashed on impact, there are a number of other risks that arise as soon as a vehicle's roof gives way. Some studies suggest that roof crushes may increase the risk of a passenger being ejected from the vehicle while it is still in motion. This is because weak roofs are not only more susceptible to being crushed, but they also have a weaker grip on the vehicles windows and windshield. Some crash tests involving weak roofs have resulted in the windshield detaching from the vehicle, leaving a direct exit for unfortunate passengers who fall out of the vehicle as it rolls. While wearing a seat belt may decrease the chances of actually being ejected from the seat, they are not always strong enough to battle the strength of the other factors.
Injuries in roof crush accidents are extremely detrimental. Some of the worst accidents involve head and neck injuries, which are no strangers to rollover accidents but are intensified when the roof crushes. Other injuries include broken bones and lacerations from broken pieces of glass. Back injuries tend to be extremely serious in roof crushes, especially if the roof actually comes into contact with the passengers. Roof crushes also tend to trap the vehicles passengers during an accident, making it difficult to escape in the event of a car fire or multiple vehicle accident.
Federal standards for motor vehicle safety have a minimum requirement for roof strength in order to protect drivers and passengers from injuries and deaths relating to the occurrence. Because of this standard, any deviation concerning roof weakness is considered an auto defect, making the manufacturer of the car liable for the injuries. Recently, authorities updated the rule to require roofs that are able to withstand applied force equal to three times the weight of the vehicle and still allow enough head room for the average sized adult male. Since this is a new rule, it is being gradually phased in, beginning in 2013 and to be fully completed by 2017.
If you were injured in a roof crush accident, it is very possible that your vehicle was either defective or below safety standards. Studies show that SUV's are especially susceptible to roof crushes because of their size. Whether your accident was caused by a shortfall on the part of your vehicle's manufacturer or because of some other reason, you can take action to file for compensation. Coping with the injuries and damage of an accident as serious as roof crush can be difficult, but with the right San Fernando Valley personal injury attorney assisting you, you have a greater chance of a full recovery. Contact a San Fernando Valley car accident lawyer from The Law Offices of Gerald L. Marcus today and learn more about how we can help you.