Is a Car Accident With a Sunroof More Dangerous?

Panoramic sunroofs are a popular design feature, particularly on warm sunny days when you want to feel the sun on your skin and the wind in your hair. While regular sunroofs only cover the front seat area, panoramic sunroofs cover most front and rear seating areas. This gives the vehicle’s occupants the feeling of driving in a convertible while providing the structural integrity that a convertible may not offer.

Given that a panoramic sunroof is made of glass, you may have concerns about whether this makes the vehicles less safe in a serious car accident, particularly a rollover accident. However, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), panoramic sunroofs do not compromise a vehicle’s structural integrity or make it less safe. In addition, you can take steps to reduce the risk of serious injuries if your vehicle is equipped with a sunroof.

If you have or are considering purchasing a vehicle with a panoramic sunroof, you do not have to be worried about the roof shattering or if it makes the vehicle any less structurally sound. Even if you are involved in a rollover accident, today’s vehicles are manufactured with a solid steel frame, which is meant to maintain the rear, frontal, and side integrity, as well as the cabin’s integrity during a serious car accident like a rollover.

According to the IIHS, the high-strength steel used in the pillars that make up the vehicle’s frame absorbs the impact of a crash instead of the center of the roof. Ultimately, the laminated glass panels and the solid steel frame significantly reduce any safety hazards associated with panoramic sunroofs. In addition, today’s vehicles undergo rigorous testing to meet strict federal safety standards, including roof safety.

Steps for Avoiding a Rollover Car Accident

Panoramic roofs generally do not pose significant safety risks thanks to technological advances and the high safety standards that auto companies are expected to meet. However, if you are driving in a vehicle with a panoramic sunroof, and you, or any other passengers in the vehicle, are not wearing a seat belt, you could be ejected from the car if you are involved in a serious accident. This can cause devastating injuries and fatalities.

Unfortunately, too many drivers and passengers fail to wear seat belts while riding in a car. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), passengers not wearing a seat belt during an accident are 10 times more likely to be ejected from the vehicle. While you may still suffer injuries if you are involved in a rollover accident due to the nature of the accident, wearing a seat belt can reduce the severity of injuries and prevent a tragic fatality.

The following are additional steps you can take to help prevent a serious injury in a rollover accident:

  • Make sure the sunroof is made from laminated glass. Some automakers may still use tempered glass in their sunroofs. The impact of a car accident can cause this type of glass to break into small shards, which are very sharp and are more likely to cause injuries than laminated glass, which crumbles rather than break into sharp shards. While you may be tempted to purchase an older, less expensive car with a sunroof made of tempered glass, it is recommended to consider a vehicle that uses laminated glass in its sunroof, as this is a much safer option.
  • Avoid certain types of vehicles. Some vehicles are more likely to roll over, particularly when making a sharp turn. Vehicles with a higher center of gravity, including SUVs, trucks, and jeeps, are more likely to roll over than sedans or smaller compact cars.
  • Inquire about vehicle upgrades that will improve vehicle safety. When purchasing a new vehicle, ask the dealer if there are any upgrades or add-ons available, such as roof airbags and accident detection systems, that may provide additional safety protection in the event of a rollover accident.

Our Baltimore Car Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Represent Victims of Car Accidents

If you were injured in a serious rollover accident or any other type of crash, do not hesitate to contact our Baltimore car accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton. To schedule a free consultation, call 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.

We have offices in Baltimore, Glen Burnie, Lanham, and Owings Mills, allowing us to represent clients in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Prince George’s County, Queen Anne’s County, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.