The New De Facto Roof Strength Standard? IIHS Raises the Bar

Reprinted from The Safety Record, V6, I1

WASHINGTON, D.C. - As the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's effort to write a new roof strength standard drags into its fourth year, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has gone ahead and created one that is far more stringent than anything the agency has proposed.

Beginning in 2010, automakers who want IIHS's coveted Top Safety Pick designation will have to build vehicle roofs with a 4.0 strength-to-weight ratio - far above the timid 2.5 ratio the government has been contemplating for its amended standard. The IIHS estimated that vehicles that could meet this new strength standard could reduce injury risk to occupants by 40-50 percent. In January, the insurance advocacy group informed manufacturers about its new requirement for vehicle roofs to win its highest honor. The industry greeted the news with the "can't-do" spirit that characterizes its reaction to nearly every safety improvement.

Millions for Motorcycle Crash Causation Study in Limbo

Reprinted from The Safety Record, V6, I1

WASHINGTON, D.C. - In 2005, Congress funneled $2.8 million to the University of Oklahoma as an earmark in the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Transportation Equity Act, a Legacy for Users, to conduct a motorcycle crash causation study. But a series of missteps have caused the study to languish and, ultimately, may result in its demise.

Midnight Regulation Provokes Controversy

Reprinted from The Safety Record, V5, I6; Nov/Dec. 2008

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The Designated Seating Position Final Rule has produced confusion around its measuring procedures and provoked controversy for its preemption clause and lack of statistical foundation as the Bush Administration tries to stampede another regulation to completion.

Seat Back Strength an Issue in Rear Seat Safety for Children

Researchers from the Center for Injury Research and Prevention at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia looked at the effect of reported deformation of the front seat back rearward on the injury risk to children seated in the rear in a rear-impact crash.

Dr. Kristy Arbogast, Associate Director of Engineering for The Center for Injury Research and Prevention at CHOP, said that the study evolved from crash investigations conducted by their research team as part of several research projects. Researchers took note of several crashes in which a child seated in the rear of the vehicle suffered facial injuries in a rear-impact crash.

Tire-Related Explorer Rollover Deaths Continue to Climb

Reprinted from The Safety Record, V5, I6; Nov/Dec. 2008

CROWNSVILLE, MD. - Ford may have won the public relations battle in 2000, when the blame for 173 Explorer rollover deaths fell on Bridgestone-Firestone's Wilderness ATX tires, but the motoring public has turned out to be the real loser. According to a new analysis, after a brief dip, the number of Explorer rollover deaths involving a tire failure has risen to significantly higher levels than before the tires were recalled.

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