ADVANCED ROOF DESIGN FOR ROLLOVER PROTECTION
Roof strength clearly affects the probability of occupant head and neck injury in light vehicle rollovers. Despite this, most manufacturers continue to design and build vehicles with inadequate roof strength. From experimental and biomechanics evidence and rollover crash data, we present the case that weak, antiquated roof designs contribute to severe head and neck injuries. We discuss the deficiencies in modern roof designs, how they cause severe head and neck injuries, and the limitations inherent in the Federal roof crush standard, FMVSS 216. We describe cost-effective examples of materials and technologies that can provide adequate roof strength to protect occupants in most rollovers without imposing significant weight penalties. Finally, we discuss an approach to dynamic roof strength testing that is based on what occurs in an actual, serious injury-producing rollover.