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In an effort to reduce injuries and deaths from vehicle rollover accidents, federal highway safety officials announced this week that car makers will need to comply with tougher vehicle roof strength standards.
Below are details of the new vehicle roof strength regulations, from the U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:
The new vehicle roof strength standards have already set off debate, the Wall Street Journal reports, with car makers pointing out that vehicle occupants' use of seat belts -- not the vehicle's roof strength -- is the most important factor in the prevention of deaths from vehicle rollover accident. Meanwhile, vehicle safety advocates, who have been clamoring for tougher vehicle roof strength standards for decades, say that roof strength requirements should be even more stringent, and that the 2017 completion deadline is too far off, according to the WSJ.
Rollover accidents are responsible for one-third of all passenger vehicle fatalities, and kill more than 10,000 drivers and passngers every year, according to data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).