SUVs and their Weak Roofs

posted on:
May 18, 2007


What are SUV weak roofs?

A roof is part of the structural support of a vehicle and helps form part of the “survival space” in a vehicle should it be in a crash. If a roof crushes substantially during an accident, it intrudes into the occupant’s “survival space,” thus, causing neck and brain injuries.

What are the dangers associated with SUVs and their weak roofs?

According to NHTSA rollover statistics, SUV’s have the highest rollover rate of any class of vehicles with more than 90 percent of the rollovers occurring after the vehicle leaves the pavement and travels onto the shoulder, into a ditch or a ravine.

On September 30, 2003, a Nebraska jury awarded approximately $19.5 million to Penny Shipler, a 36-year-old mother left paralyzed from the neck down in a 1997 accident. She was a passenger in a 1996 Chevrolet Blazer when the vehicle was involved in an accident and rolled over. The roof crushed on Ms. Shipler causing her to suffer a complete spinal cord injury.

We currently represent a woman who suffered a severe brain injury while driving a GMC Jimmy, which is the same vehicle as a Chevrolet Blazer. She, too, was involved in a rollover where the roof crushed, causing her to be severely brain injured.There are an estimated six million Blazers, including pickup trucks, on the road. Studies have shown that SUVs are two and a half times more likely to roll over than passenger cars. In a recent report by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, it ranked the Blazer among the least-safe SUVs on the road. GM has known for many years that its roofs are too weak. Instead of making the roofs stronger, it relies on inadequate government standards that fail to require manufacturers to conduct dynamic rollover tests on their roofs. GM has failed to build its vehicles with sturdier roofs, and, as a result, people like our client and Ms. Shipler continue to be severely injured or killed.

What can I do if I have been injured as the result of an SUV weak roof?

If you or a loved one has suffered a serious injury as the result of an SUV weak roof, you may be entitled to compensation. For a free legal consultation, contact us today!

Free Legal Consultation
At Beasley Allen, there is never a fee for legal services, unless we collect for you. Contact us today by filling out a brief questionnaire, or by calling our toll free number, 1-800-898-2034, for a free, no-cost no-obligation evaluation of your case.
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