Vehicle rollover is a rare event on roads, compared to other types of crashes. According to National Highway Traffic Safety Agency, USA (NHTSA), rollovers account for only 3% of crashes in a year . However, one third of the fatalities occur during a rollover and the numbers of such fatalities exceed over 10,000 per annum. The fatality and the injury rate makes rollover crash an important issue in vehicle safety.
As part of reducing risk of death and serious injury from rollover crashes, a proposal has been made to upgrade FMVSS No. 216, Roof Crush Resistance . This upgraded regulation mandates the increase in peak load carrying capacity of the vehicle structure from 1.5 times vehicle weight to 2.5 times vehicle weight. As such, the manufacturers are required to comply to this norm even with their existing vehicles. This necessitates a change in structural design of the vehicle to be able to withstand the additional load bearing capacity.
This paper puts forth a methodology of attaining such a requirement of improving the existing vehicle structure’s loading capacity, by means of a body enhancement system. Further, opportunities are identified to offset any weight penalty by means of BIW part elimination or down-gauging options.