ROOF CRUSH 3.
."........most cars easily exceeded the requirements of Standard 216, even before the standard took effect."
|from: NHTSA Report Number DOT HS 807 489, November 1989:|
Charles J. Kahane, Ph.D.
Read the full report here: An Evaluation of Door Locks and Roof Crush Resistance of Passenger Cars
Passing FMVSS 571.216 is the engineering equivalent of falling off a log. Easier to do than not to do. Essentially the only effect the regulation had was to hasten the elimination of 4 door hard tops from the market.
Recently NHTSA has proposes an new standard which would save an estimated 55 lives per year, still leaving about 10,000 to die in rollover crashes. The new proposal won't even save all belted occupants.:
"NHTSA has proposed a new roof strength standard that would require a vehicle roof to survive a force equal to 2.5 times the vehicle's weight, an increase from the current 1.5 times. The new standard requires the roof to maintain sufficient head room for a buckled-in average size adult male to avoid being struck by a crushed roof. A final rule won't be in place until late next year at the earliest; automakers will have until at least 2011 to build the stronger roofs."
Unfortunately, this new proposed
regulation would actually allow weaker roofs in some cases.
This is because the allowable crush depends on how far the head is from the interior component it strikes.
It still allows the roof to collapse when subject to the forces produced in a rollover accident.
See also: "Comments to NHTSA"
NEXT INDEX PAGE