NHTSA Delays Roof Crush Rules

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
nhtsa delays roof crush rules

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) was supposed to present new roof-strength rules to Congress by July 1. The Detroit News reports that the NHTSA wants more time. A letter from chairman of a Senate Commerce subcommittee on auto safety apparently prompted the hurry-up-and-wait. "We encourage you to extend your deadline to ensure a proper rule making that would maximize safety and significantly reduce deaths and injuries for passengers and drivers in vehicle rollover accidents," wrote Mark Pryor. One might assume that Pryor is concerned that the NHTSA proposal to strengthen roof-crush strength to 2.5 times the vehicle wait might create top-heavy vehicle which would roll over more frequently. Nope. Pryor is simply demonstrating his party's fealty to the trial lawyer lobby, by opposing language which would limit rollover lawsuits in state courts. Whether or not those limits are valid is subject to debate. That requiring stricter roof-crush standards would increase car prices and rollover frequency while reducing efficiency is not. Here's hoping these facts sink-in during the NHTSA's extra deliberation time.

Join the conversation
4 of 18 comments
  • JuniorMint JuniorMint on Jun 24, 2008

    I move to suspend any further discussion about McDonald's, Starbucks, Dunkin' Donuts, and other unrelated subjects lacking four wheels and an engine. And while I'd love to correct the approx 400 factually incorrect statements commentors have made thus far about the McDonald's case, further discussion should be restricted to www.TheTruthAboutCoffee.com. Thank you for your compliance. Whatever happened to the proposed amendment TO the proposed amendment: 4 times the car weight?

  • Andy D Andy D on Jun 24, 2008

    WTF has hot coffee got to do with roll over specs? I have no clue as to modern crash test criteria. But harken back to simpler, less litiginous times. The VW bug was very prone to roll overs. But, whether by accident or design, they survived roll overs very well. Often the cars could be set on their wheels and driven off. Back in those days, if you flipped a car, it was understood that it was because YOU, the driver had messed up.

  • Nutbags Nutbags on Jun 24, 2008

    Where is Colin Chapman when you need him? Add lightness, that makes for a better handling and more fuel efficient car. With all of the safety and luxury devices what has the weight of the average car gone up to - 3200-3400 lbs. That is absurd. As the cars get heavier and heavier, the laws of physics don't change: momentum = mass * velocity. Instead of increasing the safety of these vehicles, increase the education and driving ability of the hot coffee drinking, cell phone talking (or text messaging), make-up applying, paper reading, SUV driving soccer mom. Nope, can't do that - it is a lost cause. Soon we will all be driving the equivalent of the all mocked and despised Hummer, albeit maybe a little lower to the ground. Oh, how is this going to impact the convertible market?

  • ChuckR ChuckR on Jun 24, 2008

    What are we talking about here? How much weight does it add to achieve the goal for various weight/size classes of vehicle? How does that weight increment compare to the weight of various features, many frivolous, that are options on vehicles?