The study released by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) on March 12, 2008 adds to the mountain of evidence that the federal government is failing to do enough to protect the public from deadly rollover crashes. The Institute’s study exposes the junk science that the auto industry has been circulating for years. The automakers have tried to pass off the laughable claim that roof strength has zero relationship to the risks vehicle occupants face in rollover crashes. Hopefully, this study will be the last nail in the coffin for that bogus argument.
Additionally, the IIHS study, which closely follows the methodology used by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in its performance tests, underscores what safety experts and consumer advocates have been saying for years:
NHTSA’s proposed revision to the 40-year-old roof strength standard is insufficient. Congress instructed NHTSA in the 2005 highway bill to “upgrade” the decades-old standard. NHTSA has chosen to fiddle around at the margins instead of overhauling its outdated safety standard to reflect the best protection possible for the public. The Institute’s study echoes the urgent warnings by Public Citizen to the NHSTA that its proposed increase of the roof strength standard from 1.5 to 2.5 times gross vehicle weight will not meet the public’s need for safety. As we have reported, rollover crashes kill more than 10,000 people every year. It is long past time for NHTSA to listen to the evidence and give the public the upgraded safety standard it so desperately needs. The failure of NHTSA to protect consumers on important safety issues is proof-positive that it is not doing its job!
Source: Public Citizen
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