Automakers would have to build stronger roofs for SUVs and pickup trucks under rules proposed Friday to protect people in rollover crashes.
The proposal would apply for the first time to large sport utility vehicles and pickup trucks weighing up to 10,000 pounds. The current standard exempts vehicles over 6,000 pounds, meaning popular sport utility vehicles and trucks now would be covered.
The plan issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration would require roofs to withstand direct pressure of 2.5 times the vehicle weight, up from the current rule of 1.5 times the weight.
NHTSA said about 596 fatalities and 807 serious injuries a year involve people wearing seat belts who come into contact with a collapsed roof during a rollover crash.