Injuries & Litigation

Roof Crush



Willis Law FIRM  - Houston, Texas


 Why Roofs Can Fail in a Rollover

      Roof crush occurs when a vehicle is involved in a rollover or accident in which the roof is impacted with a moving or stationary object. The initiating event in most roof crush is a rollover. This occurs when the vehicle loses control either due to a tire failure, blowout, over steering or over correction or due to the contact of another vehicle.  Most passenger cars do not rollover to the higher degree that SUVs, vans and pickups do, mainly due to their lower center of gravity to the roadway. Sports Utility Vehicles on the other hand are often taller and a narrower track width creating a high rollover propensity.

      Roofs in modern vehicles are not built strong enough to withstand the energy of the rollover of the vehicle at high speeds with the roadway. This is mainly due to the roof strength that is intentionally not designed into the vehicle as a weight conservation so that the vehicle can achieve higher gas mileage and be more economical to drive to their potential buyers. Roof strength testing is lacking by the auto makers.

      The roof pillars which are designated A->D, are the roof columns or roof supports that hold up the roof of a vehicle. The roof pillars appear strong and rigid, but are essentially hollow on the inside and can fold over and crush down onto the occupants in a rollover event. The empty space inside the corrugated supports creates the space to allow a pillar to failure. Some engineers have designed roofs to withstand such a high degree of failure by adding a filler or even a dense cardboard to fill in the space and make the roof support more rigid. Another design failure of roofs occur when the vehicle and its roof come into contact with a moving object such as a deer, horse, moose, cow or other large animal. If such animal hits high on the front grill, the animal can them travel over the hood through the windshield, often killing the occupants in the process due to the highways speeds involved at the time of impact. These types of roof crush are called under-ride accidents. The same type of underride can occur when a vehicle under ride a semi truck or 18 wheeler truck due the difference in heights in bumpers.  In big truck underride accidents however, there are designs to prevent the severity of those accidents. Sadly many trucks are not yet equipped with these life-saving underride prevention devices.   

Talk to a Board Certified Personal Injury Trial Lawyer with over 30 years of Experience licensed in Texas & New York and recipient of the Steven Sharp award for his work and discovery of the Firestone Tire & Ford Explorer Defects  See: ABOUT FIRM

Call Toll Free 1-800-468-4878

Designing vehicles with stronger roofs padded or cushioned interiors, airbags, side curtain airbags, better seatbelts, but the best device has been the addition of the  Electronic Stability Control (ESC) or rollover computer to help prevent vehicles from losing control and rolling over in the first place.

  Injury Prevention       About the Law Firm

Injuries from a rollover type of roof crush are usually severe and often fatal. When the roof crushes the occupant's head and spinal cord are the first to be impacted and loaded resulting in closed head injuries, paralysis, paraplegia, quadriplegia, suffocation, amputations & deaths. 

Roof crush failures can be mild to severe. There are four roof crush patterns including:

  • Cathedral Roof Collapse
  • M Shaped Header Collapse
  • T Test FMVSS216 Test Type
  • Sideway or Shearing Failure

Each type of collapse present different types of potential injuries.

  Types of Failures         Roof Crush Injuries