The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has been focusing extra hard on rollover safety recently. A new rule that the agency announced this week is also aimed at preventing serious and devastating injuries in rollover auto accidents. The agency this week announced new regulations that would require passenger vehicles to keep occupants inside the vehicle during a rollover.
Under the new regulations, automakers would be required to design safety systems that would prevent passengers from being ejected from the side windows during a rollover.Automakers are likely to use technologies like rollover sensing side airbag systems to prevent passengers from being ejected through the side window during a rollover accident. Some sport utility vehicles already come with these side airbag systems. These airbags deploy immediately during rollover, and then remain open for a period of time, thereby preventing passengers from being ejected outside the window.
The new rule will be phased in during the beginning of 2013. All new vehicles will be required to have the systems by the year 2018.
Automakers are not likely to find that this new safety feature comes cheap. According to the NHTSA’s own estimate, these systems will cost approximately $31 per vehicle, or about $507 million for the entire auto industry. However, Atlanta auto accident lawyers believe that this is a small price to pay when you consider that complete or partial ejection is a major cause of serious injuries or fatalities in rollover accidents.
Rollover accidents are among the rarest of automobile accidents. They are also some of the most dangerous. Much of the danger comes when occupants of the vehicle are ejected from the car while it is flipping over. The use of side airbag systems to prevent a passenger from ejection dramatically increases the chance of surviving a rollover.