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Weak Roof Pillars: The Cause of Easy Roof Collapse that can Result to Serious Injuries or Death

Other than head-on collisions, roof crush or roof collapse during a rollover accident is another motor vehicle-related accident that can result to severe injuries or even wrongful death. Rollover crashes severely injure at least 24,000 individuals and kill up to 10,000 in the U.S. every year and, though any vehicle can roll over, taller and narrower ones, such as pickups, SUVs, vans and buses are those more prone to this type of accident due to their heavy tops.

Many vehicles have been designed with a reduced strength and size of roof and supporting structure. This is in order to lessen the weight and the cost of vehicles. Weak vehicle structure, however, also significantly diminishes the safety of the driver and other passengers. In fact, weak roof structure easily causes car roofs to crush down on the driver’s head and spine – the major cause of fatality during rollover accidents.

To make a cars’ roof structure stronger, the government established the following roof crush resistance standards:

  • Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 216 (FMVSS 216)/49 CFR (Code of Federal Regulations) 571.216 – for multipurpose passenger vehicles (MPVs), passenger cars, buses and trucks with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) or gross vehicle mass (GVM) of 2,722 kilograms (6,000 pounds) or less;
  • Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 216a (FMVSS 216a)/49 CFR (Code of Federal Regulations) 571.216a (upgraded standard) – for multipurpose passenger vehicles (MPVs), passenger cars, buses and trucks with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) or gross vehicle mass (GVM) of 4,536 kilograms (10,000 pounds) or less. This, however, does not apply to some types of vehicles, like school buses, some convertibles, and trucks built in two or more stages.

One reason why car roofs collapse is roof pillar failure. Car pillars are the vertical structures that support the roof of a car. A car usually has six roof pillars, which go in pairs: the A-pillars, B-pillars, and C-pillars. As these pillars’ main function is to support the vehicle and keep the roof from crushing down on vehicle occupants during a rollover accident, these then serve as the driver’s and passengers’ best protection.

Many road safety agencies hold manufacturers liable for pillar collapse during rollovers. As explained by a Milwaukee car accident lawyer a vehicle’s structural defects are difficult or impossible for consumers to identify before they become apparent in an accident. This means that a driver will have little or no opportunity to take precautionary measures to account for the flaw. Now, in the event of an accident, any car accident lawyer will agree that automakers should be held accountable for the harm that results from their failure to build a structurally sound vehicle.

Reckless Drivers

Traffic regulations are put in place to protect people on or close to the road. Reckless driving, however minor it may seem, ignores these laws and puts cyclists, pedestrians, and motorists in danger. The most common dangerous driving actions are drunk driving, tailgating, speeding, driving while drowsy, distracted driving, running stop signs or red lights, and failure to make use of a turn signal. Sadly, reckless driving is one of the most effective causes of mishaps on the road, and such injuries are preventable.

Cell phone use has triggered distracted driving into being the leading causes of traffic accidents. Distracted driving has developed to include tasks like text messaging, eating, utilizing a routing system, and fixing radio stations or music device. Texting is the distraction that is most harmful because it necessitates manual, visual, and cognitive focus from the driver. Of those accidents, 21% were because of phone usage.

Drunken driving is widely considered the biggest source of traffic fatalities in the U.S., contributing to 31% of traffic-related deaths this year. Nonetheless, speeding is usually overlooked as yet another top cause of traffic fatalities, despite the truth that it is one of the very most frequent reckless driving tasks. As stated by the U.S. Census Bureau, you can find about 10,500 racing-related traffic fatalities each year. The most frequent ways that speeding threatens the others include:

  • Lowered handle of your vehicle
  • Decreased ability to respond to on-coming road conditions or crashes
  • Compromising the function of vehicular safety features
  • Elevated probability of damage in the case of an injury
  • Rushing accidents are completely preventable, and drivers who choose to ignore speed limits get themselves in risk that is unnecessary.

As stated on an Iowa car accident attorney website, speeding accidents are avoidable and drivers who choose to ignore speed limits put themselves as well as others in unnecessary danger.