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What's a roof crush and why do they occur?

Long before safety and crash testing started regularly being performed on cars, it wasn't uncommon for a car's roof and support beams to come crashing down during a rollover accident.

Even with an ability to better assess a car's crash rating nowadays, undetected safety issues may arise. The risk of a roof crush is still quite high, especially is a vehicle is subjected to a specific degree of force or struck from a certain angle. The impact that the car makes with other cars and the ground while rolling over can lead its roof to come crashing down, trapping its occupants inside.

When these roofs collapse, they often do so because they were poorly constructed. The ones that perhaps pose the most significant risk for the motorist are those built from a mere thin layer of sheet metal.

Because they weigh so little, roofs of this type often are only supported by small metal tubes that are placed inside of voids within the vehicle's frame. Their simple design makes it easy for them to be crushed. Also, the pillars that support the windshield may even be less sturdy because they're reinforced only half way up.

Those lucky enough to survive a roof crush usually do so because they were wearing their seat belts with the crash occurred. In those cases, it restricted them from being thrown about while the car was violently flipping during the rollover.

Surviving a rollover doesn't guarantee that a motorist will ever be the same again. Even if an individual survives a rollover and roof crush, they'll likely be left with either a brain or spinal cord injury. If they're not faced with neurological impairments, they're likely to experience either partial or complete paralysis.

The medical bills associated with either one of these injuries can reach into the millions within the victim's lifetime.

If you've been seriously injured or lost a loved one in a roof crush incident, a Nashville auto defects attorney may be able to advise about your right to file a lawsuit against your car's manufacturer.

Source: Auto Safety Expert, "Rolover: Roof crush," Byron Bloch, accessed Oct. 20, 2017

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