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Sport utility vehicles (SUVs) are the vehicles most prone to rollover accidents. Roof strength is a critical part of protecting vehicle occupants during a rollover accident. When roof crush resistance is inadequate, the roof of the vehicle can protrude into the occupant space during a rollover, causing injuries to the brain, spinal cord, and neck.
Hollow roof pillars and the lack of roll bars mean that SUVs lack adequate roof crush resistance. The laws governing roof crush resistance in SUVs are very lax compared to the requirements for passenger cars and do not require that an SUV's roof be able to withstand even the full weight of the vehicle.
Auto manufacturers, however, are aware of the danger. When SUVs were sold primarily for off-roading, roll bars were standard equipment. Now that their primary use is street and highway driving, roll bars have become optional. Customers must request them and pay extra for the protection even though SUVs are far more likely to roll than passenger cars.
When roof crush occurs, occupants can be injured by an impact with the roof itself, seat belt failure, or ejection from the vehicle. Impact with the roof itself typically causes fracturing or bursting of the vertebrae, resulting in brain injuries or spinal cord injuries.
If you or a loved one has been involved in an auto accident where injuries were exacerbated by a defective SUV roof, the experienced lawyers at Jacoby & Meyers can help you receive compensation for your damages. We will provide you with highly personalized, aggressive representation in order to hold the negligent parties accountable for their actions.
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