There’s no doubt in the fact that sunroofs give an excellent look to the vehicle. You can open it partially to create more ventilation, enhancing your comfort on warm days. Additionally, you can enjoy the open-air feeling of a convertible by opening it entirely when the weather is ideal.
A panoramic sunroof, also known as a wide-opening sunroof, is a large type of sunroof that accounts for most of the rooftop space on vehicles that have one. Most sunroofs cover a good part of the front seat area, but a panoramic sunroof covers much of the front and rear seating areas.
A panoramic sunroof is a glass panel that slides open, raises, or can be removed. The idea of driving a car with a glass-covered hole in the top seems dangerous; however, it’s not particularly dangerous in a car accident. If you take precautions, however, the dangers are reduced.
The most significant potential concern with a vehicle equipped with a panoramic sunroof is that occupants may be ejected in a rollover accident. When the car has an open panoramic sunroof, ejected occupants can land outside the cabin. In a rollover accident, ejection can prove deadly if part of all of a passenger’s body winds up outside the cabin.
The sunroof may break, but it’s unlikely to shatter. The laminate coating on the glass makes it less likely to shatter than normal glass. If it does shatter, the laminate coating prevents small sharp pieces from falling into the passenger cabin. The windshield, side windows, and rear windows are also made of laminated safety glass that reduces the risk of injury if they break. Here are some best practices for sunroof maintenance.
Because of its rollover resistance, the top of a vehicle with a sunroof is supported by four pillars. These pillars help maintain the integrity of the roof even during a rollover accident.
The size of a panoramic sunroof makes it appear that the vehicle’s structural integrity is compromised. A vehicle’s laminated glass is softer than steel after all. Thankfully, government safety tests show that panoramic sunroofs do not affect structural integrity. The reason for this is partly due to the relative rigidity of highly engineered panoramic sunroofs, but it is primarily due to the structural design of the vehicles themselves. Even ones with panoramic sunroofs typically have a reinforcing structure that maintains the cabin’s structural integrity in rollover accidents.
Safety tests and crash tests performed by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) have revealed that panoramic sunroofs do not compromise a car’s structural integrity or safety rating.
Sunroof Dangers Reduced By Structural Integrity
Safety in vehicle accidents is largely a matter of protection by the steel frame of the vehicle. Panoramic sunroofs, which feature glass roofs that extend over the front and rear seats, are not considered especially dangerous.
The steel frame of the vehicle helps maintain its rear, frontal, side, and roof integrity and helps keep the passenger cabin’s structural integrity during rollover accidents. The passenger cabin is also designed to protect its occupants during rollovers and other accidents. A rollover accident is the greatest threat to the roof of your vehicle because it places the entire weight of the vehicle upon it.
Passenger cabins are engineered to create a safe environment for passengers. Metal pillars and rollbars support the roof and help prevent it from collapsing during a crash. Those pillars are made from solid metal and absorb the energy of an impact.
Auto technology has developed to the point where shattered glass no longer constitutes a threat to passengers in a collision. Glass may break into small pieces, but a laminate holds them together. Even vehicles with panoramic sunroofs are no more dangerous for passengers than vehicles that do not have them.
What Are The Precautions to Prevent Occupant Ejection?
An open sunroof does not affect the structural integrity of your vehicle during an accident. Still, driving with an open sunroof increases the potential for severe injury or death due to occupant ejection. You might prefer to drive with the sunroof open. After an accident with an open sunroof, you could be ejected from your vehicle, which could be deadly. Fortunately, safety features already included with your vehicle help prevent ejections. Your seat belt is the single most-effective piece of safety equipment for preventing ejections.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says that unbelted passengers are 10 times more likely to be ejected during an accident than belted passengers. To protect yourself against injury, buckle up. Airbags also help prevent ejections, and some carmakers are developing roof-mounted airbags that would help avoid ejections through sunroofs and open windows.
What Are The Possible Dangers Caused Due To Sunroofs?
Driving with a panoramic sunroof on a hot day can increase the heat level inside a vehicle. A tinted panoramic sunroof dramatically increases the heat level inside a vehicle. Your air conditioning system can handle the additional heat, but it still makes for a sweltering cabin when you first enter and start driving. The several-minute delay in achieving a comfortable cabin temperature could increase your stress level. Increased stress makes you more prone to make errors and possibly cause an accident. If you need your sunroof/moonroof repaired you can call GlassFixit.
Some features weaken over time. Most vehicle owners keep their cars for many years, which means wear and tear on the glass, laminate, and seals. Sunroofs can be prone to failure as they age, because the laminate that helps prevent shattering becomes weaker, and the glass becomes weaker from years of exposure to ultraviolet rays. An older sunroof is more apt to break or shatter during an accident. Replacing one every few years is an excellent way to help maintain structural integrity.
To prevent water from entering your vehicle, you must maintain the seals that keep rain, snow, and other moisture out. Seals that have been exposed to sunlight become weak and brittle, making them more likely to allow water into the car. Water intrusion in the cabin could cause mold and mildew to grow and create toxic hazards. Replacement of seals, as well as periodic maintenance, will help prevent this from happening.