Sunroofs are a common feature in vehicles of all shapes and sizes. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the sunroof market size in 2015 was around $5 billion, with expected growth of more than 10 percent by 2022. With increasing popularity, we must consider safety issues, such as whether sunroofs increase ejection risk. Let’s take a look.
Sunroofs and Ejection Risks
There are a few reasons why sunroofs may increase ejection risk and related statistics. These factors include:
- Popularity: One of the factors to consider in whether sunroofs increase ejection risk is the fact that they have been increasing in popularity for several years. According to the New York Times, in 2017, 40 percent of all vehicles sold in the U.S. were equipped with a sunroof.
- Size: Another factor to consider along those lines is the fact that sunroof size has also increased steadily. Sunroofs range from small and confined to the front area, to panoramic spanning the entire length of the vehicle.
- Shattering Glass: There have been numerous reports of sunroofs shattering, even among vehicles not involved in an accident. The ease of shattering could certainly increase the risk of ejection during an accident.
- Lack of Safety Regulations: The NHTSA has no regulations about safety devices to prevent ejection through a sunroof, such as airbags designed to prevent ejection from side windows.
Though sunroofs are more popular than ever, and the size of sunroofs seem to be increasing every year, there have been no significant changes in safety features or regulations. This is a significant realization based on the fact that between 1997 and 2008, around 300 people were killed after being ejected from a sunroof, and another 1,400 were injured from ejection.