Rollover Protection from Interior Padding and Side Curtain Air Bags

Vehicle occupants in rollovers can sustain serious injury and death because their heads strike the vehicle’s hard upper interior parts. In 1995, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) acted to require passenger cars and other multipurpose vehicles to provide protection should an occupant’s head strike the upper interior compartment during an accident. The agency estimated that the padding could result in a significant reduction of serious injuries and fatalities in rollovers at a minimal cost.

NHTSA’s effort was long overdue. Improved padding for interior surfaces—such as roof panels, support, pillars, side rails and headers—has been shown to be highly effective in reducing rollover forces and injuries.

In the late 1960s, General Motors proved that padding consisting of two pieces of thin metal with an air gap in between was effective in reducing head injuries. Yet vehicle manufacturers opposed the NHTSA amendment, claiming that padding would reduce passenger space and increase the potential for neck injury.

Side Curtain Air Bags For Rollover Protection

An increasing number of manufacturers are installing side curtain air bags that deploy in rollovers.

Volvo has provided a side curtain air bag with its XC90 as standard equipment. Ford offers a “safety canopy” as either standard or optional equipment in many of its vehicles, including the Explorer. The system includes side curtain air bags that stay inflated during rollover for six seconds, or long enough for a vehicle to roll four times.

Unfortunately, manufacturers have failed to implement this system in many of their vehicles, especially those known to have a propensity to roll over.

Representing Injured Victims and Families in Rollover Accidents

As experienced vehicle accident lawyers, we are available to represent injured victims and the families who have suffered the loss of a loved one in a rollover accident.  If you have been injured, or if a family member has been killed, please call me.  I will meet with you at your convenience to learn about your case and the accidents and injuries sustained.  There is no fee for this consultation, and no obligation to hire this firm.  If we are hired, we will work to thoroughly investigate your case and work hard to hold accountable all those responsible for your injuries and damages.

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