Protesters Speak Out Against Roof Crush Safety Proposal - BodyShop Business

Protesters Speak Out Against Roof Crush Safety Proposal

Protesters rallied outside of the Department of Transportation Building in Washington, D.C., recently to protest a roof crush safety proposal which they believe will do little to save lives in automobiles that roll over.

Rollovers make up less than 5 percent of all crashes, but 25 percent of all vehicle fatalities are from rollovers - exactly 10,000 every year, according to the campaign Web site for Ralph Nader, a longtime consumer advocate who is running for president as an independent in 2008.

At the rally, independent auto safety expert Byron Bloch (click HERE to see article he was featured in in BodyShop Business) showed Ralph Nader the two designs Ford uses in some vehicles. One cost $1 more than the other, but is significantly stronger. In the background was Paula Lawlor, director of People Safe in Rollovers, and Kevin Moody, whose son died in 2003 when a Ford Explorer rolled over and crushed him.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), part of the Department of Transportation, is expected to update its 36-year-old roof crush standard in July.

The current standard mandates that a vehicle sold in the United States have a roof that can withstand 1.5 times the weight of the vehicle without collapsing more than five inches into occupancy space. The test is administered by a “static crusher” that slowly and methodically applies pressure to the corner of a vehicle’s roof.

The new standard is expected to be the exact same test but requires that vehicles’ roofs hold 2.5 times the weight of the vehicle. Nader, who was a key figure in the creation of NHSTA in 1966, said the new standard is still not adequate.

“We’re demanding that they issue a standard of at least four times the vehicle weight in a rollover,” Nader said.

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