Safety Research on Rollover Stability

Safety research on rollover stability
Safety research on rollover stability

Over the years, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) have been working to create a standard for vehicle stability when it comes to light trucks – anything ranging from pick-up trucks, minivans and SUVs. In 2003, 281,000 vehicles rolled over – 20 percent resulted in fatalities and 170,000 resulted in injuries.

After years of being unsuccessful in creating a vehicle standard for rollovers, it was determined to include a brightly-colored label affixed to the sun visor on the driver’s side stating: “Warning! Higher Rollover Risk;” “Avoid Abrupt Maneuvers and Excessive Speed;” “Always Buckle Up” and depicted a vehicle tipping and a belted occupant. (see photo) In 2000, the NHTSA began the process of adding a rollover rating to new cars.

The five-star rating system would award one star to vehicles with a rollover risk of 40 percent or greater and would award five stars to vehicles with a rollover risk of less than 10 percent. Most recently, the NHTSA’s fatality statistics showed that 10,816 people died in rollover motor vehicle accidents in 2004 – about the same number as in 1999. But vehicles are becoming more stable. The latest crop of cross-over SUVs shows that this class of vehicle is becoming less like a truck and more like a passenger car. Read the whole article on Rollover/Stability from the Safety Research & Strategies, Inc.


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