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Roof Strength Another Step In Auto Safety

SUV_test_AP.jpg
AP

This morning the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) released a new rating system for the strength of roofs for SUV's.

These ratings highlight an area that is critical to whether passengers in an SUV will survive a rollover crash accident.

Given that many people are killed in SUV accidents because they are crushed by the roof or thrown from the vehicle because of weak roofs, stronger roofs could help reduce the number of fatalities.

In the new IIHS test four models were given "good" ratings (VW Tiguan, Subaru Forester, Honda Element, Jeep Patriot) while only two (Kia Sportage, Hyundai Tucson) were given "poor" ratings.

You can see all the results at www.iihs.org/news/rss/pr032409.html

The value of these ratings can not be over stated.

It's through the work IIHS has done highlighting front, side, and rear crash safety, as well as electronic stability control systems that have been key to pushing the auto industry to improve the safety of its vehicles.

And when the IIHS awards its Top Safety Pick for 2010, roof safety ratings will factor into the criteria.

The bottom line on vehicle roofs: they are getting stronger, tanks to structural improvements some of the auto makers have made in recent years.

As we see more ratings like this, they will only get stronger.

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