Do Vehicle Sunroofs Increase Ejection Risk?
Do Vehicle Sunroofs Increase Ejection Risk?

Over the years, vehicle sunroofs have skyrocketed in popularity. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA), the sunroof market has increased every year. According to The Times, around 40% of 2017 model year cars and light trucks sold in the U.S. had a sunroof, compared with just 33% of 2011 models. Sunroofs are showing up in more vehicles, and they are also becoming larger in size, with panoramic sunroofs becoming more popular. While a sunroof can be a beautiful and convenient feature on a vehicle, it can also put vehicle occupants at increased risk of ejection in the event of a car accident.

What Makes Sunroofs Dangerous?

From 1997 to 2008, roughly 300 people were killed and 1,400 injured after being ejected through a vehicle’s sunroof, according to the NHTSA. In 2005, 18-year-old Liza Hankins was involved in a crash in her 2000 Ford Expedition. She was ejected through the vehicle’s sunroof, which left her paralyzed. Her family sued Ford, claiming that the vehicle’s sunroof was unsafe. However, the jury sided with Ford, which argued that there were no regulations stipulating a sunroof must prevent a person from being ejected.

Thirteen years later, this is still the case. Despite increases in auto safety regulations, such as new front passenger crash tests, there are no regulations concerning the ejection risk of sunroofs.

Fortunately, change may be on the horizon. NHTSA researchers announced last year that a new test had been created to gauge a sunroof’s ability to prevent ejection. New regulations have not yet been announced, but consumer safety groups are hopeful that they are forthcoming.

“As more and more vehicles are equipped with sunroofs—and as those sunroofs become larger in size—it is urgent that federal regulators address the issue of sunroof ejection,” said Attorney Walter Clark, founder of Walter Clark Legal Group.

Our firm has been handling personal injury cases throughout the California Low Desert and High Desert communities for over 30 years. With a 95% success rate, the California personal injury attorneys at Walter Clark Legal Group will fight to hold those responsible for your loss accountable and win compensation to cover medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. If you have been injured in an auto accident and want to discuss your legal options, contact us today for a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer. We have offices in Indio, Rancho Mirage, Victorville, El Centro, and Yucca Valley, and represent clients through the entire California Low Desert and High Desert communities.

DISCLAIMER: The Walter Clark Legal Group blog is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended as legal or medical advice. References to laws are based on general legal practices and vary by location. Information reported comes from secondary news sources. We do handle these types of cases, but whether or not the individuals and/or loved ones involved in these accidents choose to be represented by a law firm is a personal choice we respect. Should you find any of the information incorrect, we welcome you to contact us with corrections.

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