Panoramic roof for cars: what are the safety risks in the event of an accident?

Panoramic roof for cars: what are the safety risks in the event of an accident?

Panoramic roof for cars

The panoramic roof is an increasingly widespread element in the equipment of new cars arriving on the market. It is an ideal solution to increase the brightness of the interior passenger compartment and guarantee an extra touch of personality to your car. A panoramic roof generally entails an additional cost for adding an extra element to the standard equipment. At least in part, this expense can then be amortized in the resale phase of the car which will maintain a greater commercial value thanks to the panoramic roof.

In a market that is increasingly attentive to aspects related to safety and occupant protection of the vehicle, it is legitimate to wonder if the panoramic roof of the car is safe or if this option could lead to a reduction in the car's resistance to accidents. The choice of a panoramic roof for the car is linked to aesthetic and functional factors but, of course, safety cannot be an element to be overlooked. For this reason, it is advisable to analyze all the possible critical issues on the matter in detail.

Let's see, therefore, everything there is to know about the panoramic roof and its impact on the overall safety of a car .

Panoramic roof for cars: where do doubts about safety come from

Over the last few years, the panoramic roof for cars has become an increasingly requested option by motorists. In order to satisfy this growing demand, the manufacturers have created increasingly "thrust" solutions, increasing the surface area of ​​the panoramic roof and reducing that covered by the sheet metal.

The growing diffusion of the panoramic roof for cars as well as the presence of safety requirements which, rightly, have become increasingly stringent, have given rise to doubts about the actual impact of this element on the overall safety of a car and, in particular, on the responses that the vehicle can give in the event of an accident with collision or rollover .

Then there is the issue of exposure to the elements. An exceptional hailstorm, in terms of the size of ice grains, can put a strain on the crystals of a car. Therefore, increasing the glass surface could extend the "vulnerable" surface of a car, with a greater risk of damage to the internal passenger compartment (in reality, the latest generation glass can be even more resistant than sheet metal in this case) .

These are legitimate concerns. Concerning the safety of the panoramic roof for cars, compared to a "traditional" solution, is an essential step when evaluating the purchase of a car with this configuration. Evaluating the safety of the model to buy, from all points of view, should always be part of the process of choosing the car that best suits your needs.

A car with a panoramic roof is less safe ?

Now let's get to the heart of the matter. The presence of a panoramic roof does not alter the overall safety of a car. Even if the car rollover is one of the most dangerous consequences of a car accident, it is important to underline a key aspect that governs the design and production of modern cars.

The structural integrity of cars must meet very strict standards. Before entering production, vehicles are required to pass various types of tests aimed at evaluating their resistance with precision. The panoramic roof version (if any) of a car must also pass these tests. As a result, cars with panoramic roofs arriving on the market are extensively tested for structural integrity and resistance to impacts and the consequences of a vehicle rollover.

In the process of evaluating the safety of a Furthermore, one of the central steps in the car is the assessment of the strength of the roof, regardless of its conformation. The analysis in question is described in detail by the IIHS but it is an important aspect in all global markets. To date, only vehicles capable of meeting very high standards in terms of safety and integrity arrive on the market. The roof, regardless of whether it is panoramic or not, is always analyzed in detail. The difference between the panoramic roof and the "traditional" roof covered by a sheet metal car, in terms of safety and strength, was defined as insignificant at the end of specific crash tests performed by IIHS. The steel frame plays a decisive role in the safety and overall strength of a car. The pillars that support the roof of the car have the task of absorbing the impact, guaranteeing the integrity of the vehicle structure.

The greatest risks associated with a road accident are due to the expulsion of the occupants of the vehicle which could end up outside the passenger compartment following a particularly intense impact with another element of the road (a barrier or another vehicle). For this reason, to minimize the risks for the occupants, elements such as seat belts and airbags play a fundamental role.

For an occupant without a belt, according to data from the American NHTSA, it is 10 times more likely be ejected from the vehicle following an accident than one who has correctly installed the seat belt. This stat is in no way affected by whether or not a panoramic car roof is fitted. In terms of safety following a road accident, therefore, the panoramic roof does not play a particular role.

Panoramic roof for cars: the risk of damage increases caused by glass breakage?

It is evident that, all other factors being equal, a car with a panoramic roof has a greater glass surface than one with a traditional roof. This detail has a limited impact on occupant safety, even in the event of a road accident. The panoramic roof is made with laminated glass similar to that used for the windshield.

It is a glass made up of several sheets which, in the event of breakage, even following a violent impact, keep the pieces together glass reducing the risk of cuts to the vehicle occupants. Consequently, the greater glass surface due to the presence of a panoramic roof in the car does not lead to a significant increase in the risk of cuts following breakage due, for example, to an accident with impact.

Panoramic roof for cars: what are the pros and what are the cons

Choosing a panoramic roof for cars does not involve compromising in terms of safety. It is an optional that does not, therefore, alter the overall safety of the vehicle and which, therefore, can be added to the equipment of your car in complete tranquility. A car with a panoramic roof costs more, due to the presence of this option, but will also have a greater commercial value in the resale phase.

Driving a car with a panoramic roof can have some pros and some cons. The advantages are certainly of an aesthetic nature (but it is a very subjective aspect) as well as in terms of the brightness and airiness of the interior. A panoramic roof allows you to "transform" the interior passenger compartment, guaranteeing interior livability that is significantly different from that recorded with a car with a traditional roof.

It should also be noted that a panoramic roof does not alter the noise level of a passenger compartment significantly. In most cases, in fact, the cars that include this option are designed in such a way as to minimize noise inside the vehicle to guarantee high comfort. Also in this case, therefore, there are no disadvantages for those who opt for this solution.

Focusing on the panoramic roof in the car involves some compromises and, more generally, some cons. Cars with this option must be subject to special maintenance, especially in terms of cleaning the glass, to prevent the accumulation of dirt from limiting the "panoramic" aspect of this option. Less protection from the sun's rays must also be taken into account. During the summer, in fact, inside the passenger compartment it could be hotter due to the absence of complete coverage guaranteed by traditional roofs.

In conclusion, it can be stated that the choice of a car with panoramic roof does not involve particular criticalities in terms of resistance of the vehicle. However, there are aspects to highlight. The additional cost and other cons can push the motorist towards more classic solutions. In general, it is always a very subjective choice, as happens with many options in the car world. For safety, however, there is nothing to fear. The panoramic roof is a safe element of modern cars.

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