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Dallas SUV Rollover Lawyers

SUVs (Sport Utility Vehicles) account for many of the most dangerous vehicles on our streets today. Originally designed for off road use, certain SUVs were developed with high suspensions and narrow wheelbases. Unfortunately, most SUVs are in use on highways — often traveling at high speeds. Due to the high center of gravity in SUV design and failure of auto safety products, serious and fatal rollover and roof crush accidents are commonplace.

If you were injured or a loved one died in a car, truck or SUV rollover and roof crush accident in Texas or anywhere in the United States, we invite you to contact the experienced attorneys of Miller Weisbrod, LLP, for a free consultation with an experienced personal injury trial attorney. From our offices in Dallas, we serve clients across the country.

Anatomy of a Roof Design

An A-pillar is a name applied by car stylists and enthusiasts to the shaft of material that supports the windshield (windscreen) on either of the windshield frame sides. By denoting this structural member as the A-pillar, and each successive vertical support in the greenhouse after a successive letter in the alphabet (B-pillar, C-pillar etc.), this naming scheme allows those interested in car design to have points of reference when discussing design elements. The terms are also used by heavy rescue vehicle teams to discuss cutting vehicles open.

  • A-PILLAR — The roof support on either side of a vehicle's windshield
  • B-PILLAR — The roof support between a car's front door window and rear side window, if there is one
  • C-PILLAR — The roof support between a car's rearmost side window and its rear window. On a vehicle with four side pillars, the rearmost roof support may be called a D-pillar

Pillar is American English; the British terminology is post.

Roof Standards

The National Highway Travel Safety Administration (NHTSA) regulates that the roof must be strong enough to resist force 1.5 times the vehicle's weight before crushing more than 5 inches. Critical support points for this roof crush test are at the pillars of the roof.

The NHTSA is suggesting the regulation be changed to 2.5 instead, which still would permit enough roof crush in a real life rollover to risk head contact. Most vehicles on the road today would only resist an average of 2.3 times their weight before roof crush occurs. The new roof crush regulation would save a handful of lives a year, while there are thousands of roof crush cases each year (26,000+). Consumer groups are suggesting a stronger roof crush standard and a real-world rollover test.

Problems With Roof Design Lead to Roof Crush and Roof Crush Injuries

There simply is not enough being done to prevent injuries by roof crush. Tests have shown that vehicles with weak A-pillars can still pass the current and anticipated roof crush tests. Weak A-pillars allows the vehicle's windshield to break, which then allows the occupants or parts of their bodies to exit the vehicle, which can cause serious injuries or death in a rollover. The current and proposed roof crush standards are not enough to prevent serious head injuries to vehicle occupants during a rollover.

Current NHTSA tests use improper angles and dummy placement. In NHTSA tests, the dummy's head is placed towards the B-pillar, while in actual rollovers, the occupants are forced towards the collapsing A-pillar.

What Can Be Done?

Improved roof crush standards would save lives of up to half of those killed in vehicle rollovers, since vehicle ejection due to weak A-pillars is a leading cause of death in rollover accidents. As such, the NHTSA is looking hard at recent crash data to establish a direct relationship between collapsing roofs and catastrophic injuries.

Juries in Texas, California and Nebraska have also repeatedly rejected Big Three-backed studies that deny a link between crushed roofs and injuries. Safety groups have stepped up their campaign for a new roof-strength standard with new verdicts that have come in, including a $225 million verdict against Ford in a roof crush case.

Contact Us

If you were severely injured or a loved one died in an accident in a rollover or roof collapse-related accident, we invite you to contact our Dallas offices at 214.987.0005 to discuss your rights and legal options with an experienced trial lawyer.

We offer free initial consultations to potential clients nationwide. If you are calling from outside the DFW Metroplex, please use our toll-free line at 888.987.0005 or contact us by e-mail to schedule an appointment.