Thursday, March 13, 2008

Roof Strength

I've recently started checking out Autoblog because of a story I'm toying with- wanted to get some concept car images as the story is set a few years in the future. Anyway, I've developed a real thing for concept cars- and I still don't understand why manufacturers don't start making some of them, preferring to run with more mundane and ordinary-looking vehicles.

I checked Autoblog today and caught this post on roof strength, particularly in SUVs, and its relation to surviving a crash.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has just released a study that proves that more roof strength can reduce injuries by some 39 to 57 percent when compared to the weaker models it tested.

I had a crash in a Land Rover Discovery a few years back- going down hill I hit a patch of black ice and the nose of the vehicle hit the grass back at the side of the road and the Discovery rolled over and then landed sideways across the road back on its wheels. Luckily I was able to walk away with my just my back strained and my wrist banged up from bracing against the roof as it rolled. The Discovery was a write off but the roof held up- partly, I think, because the front of the car was up on the bank, creating an angle with the road that saved the roof from taking too much damage.

One thing I did learn was never, ever to put anything heavy inside the car with me ever again- at the time I was working repairing computers and I carried my gear in a hard aluminium case. As the car rolled over I could hear the case thumping around the back of the car. Had it been in the front- I usually left it in the foot-well on the passenger side- I suspect it would have done a fair bit of damage to my head.

So there you have it- roof strength is definitely something to bear in mind if you drive an SUV, or are thinking of buying one.

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