The U.S. Dept. of Transportation amends a proposal requiring stronger vehicle roofs to lessen the incidence of injury during rollover accidents.

In August 2005, the DOT said it wanted to require that vehicle roofs withstand forces equivalent to 2.5 times the vehicle’s weight in one-sided testing.

The agency now is requesting both sides of a vehicle’s roof withstand the same amount of forces but also is asking for public input as to which testing standard would be best.

“We want the benefit of public comments on whether the one-sided or double-sided procedure would be the wisest approach to save lives and protect people from serious injury due to contact with collapsed roofs,” Nicole Nason, administrator-National Highway Traffic Safety Admin., says, adding NHTSA research since August 2005 has shown the 2-sided testing procedure is a “viable alternative.”

Comments will be taken over the next 45 days, and a final ruling will be made during the summer.

DOT says about 10,000 Americans annually are killed in rollover accidents, despite making up a small percentage of total crashes.