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  1. #1
    Admin - CPST Instructor murphydog77's Avatar
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    How important is head room?

    Does anyone currently do roll-over crash tests? I checked the IIHS site, but didn't see any rating for them.

    We're considering the Lexus RX 330 SUV, but my 6'5" dh only has about 2" head clearance to the top of the roof. Of course, if it didn't have that darn sunroof, there'd be plenty of room , but that's another gripe. I'm concerned that the passenger cage would crush in during a roll-over.

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  3. #2
    CPSDarren - Admin SafeDad's Avatar
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    I am not positive, but I believe light trucks (includes trucks, SUVs, minivans) are still exempt from passenger car roof crush standards. Many may meet or exceed these standards, but it may not be required. You would have to comb through the brochures or contact the manufacturer to see if they would give you an answer on this.

    I doubt an extra inch or two of headroom would matter much in a serious crash, but it certainly shouldn't hurt...

    Sorry I don't know much more about this. I'm also not real fond of sunroofs, just from the stance that glass instead of metal can't be a good idea unless they do a lot of extra reinforcement around it...

  4. #3
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    Darren, there is no exemption for light trucks in the FMVSS 216 standard - there is a weight limit however. Vehicles over 6000 lbs are not required to pass the standard, although you are correct that most do anyway.

    There has been no clear correlation between head room and protection in a rollover crash. There are many influencing factors such as severity, restraint system (and use of the restraint system), type of rollover mode, etc which make this difficult to sift out of real world data.

  5. #4
    CPSDarren - Admin SafeDad's Avatar
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    Thank you for the correction. I guess it is "heavy" trucks that don't have a standard. Here are a couple other links I found on the topic:

    http://www.citizen.org/autosafety/ro...ex.cfm?ID=8105

    http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/cars/rules/...216Notice.html

    http://www.rolloverlawyer.com/roof_crush.htm

  6. #5
    Melissa
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    Volvo XC90 Has Reinforced Roof

    I don't know the answer to how much headroom is necessary and it's been a while since you posted so maybe you've made a decision.

    But if you're still looking, since you're looking at luxury SUVs, you might consider the Volvo XC90. I had several family members recently killed in an SUV rollover (with their seatbelts on) so we traded in our Jeep Grand Cherokee this past spring and were looking for a safer alternative with rollover and crash ratings a top concern. The Volvo XC90 has a Boron Steel Cage and lots of other safety features like rollover control, stability control and side curtain airbags that make it safer than other SUVs. We didn't get one as we opted for the "cheaper" (cheaper is relative at Volvo) wagon but if you are looking at that class, it is well worth a test drive and having a Volvo sales person talk you through the details. Unfortunately, even though they are starting to rate rollover, etc. I think it's still a long way off from all models being tested and understanding rollover resistance vs. crushable roofs, etc.

    Hope that helps a little.

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