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Panoramic Sunroofs: Are They Dangerous?

panoramic sunroof safe or risky

Over the last few years, panoramic sunroofs have become very popular in India. Car buyers love the feel of open skies and a sense of luxury that this feature provides. However, as the majority of the roof becomes glass, many people question the safety aspect of these cars with panoramic sunroofs. Now if you are one of those people who have the same question, then you have come to the right place.

Panoramic Sunroofs: Are They Dangerous?
Panoramic sunroof

Panoramic Sunroof Safety

Many car buyers, especially those who are conscious about the safety and structural integrity of cars, ask the above-mentioned question. Now the answer to this is that every modern car that offers a panoramic sunroof goes through rigorous testing to meet stringent safety standards.

The structural integrity of a car is evaluated through a series of crash tests conducted by government bodies and organizations like the Global NCAP and Bharat NCAP. These tests are designed to identify and address any structural weaknesses. They make sure that all production vehicles provide a high level of protection.

Panoramic Sunroofs: Are They Dangerous?
Panoramic sunroof or Skyroof

Now the good news is that most of the crash test safety ratings show that the presence of a sunroof has an insignificant impact on the overall strength of the roof. For those who may not be aware, the core strength of a vehicle comes from its steel frame.

It especially comes from the high-strength steel pillars (A, B, C, and D pillars) that absorb the energy during a crash. Hence, the roof does not have much of a job in providing more structural rigidity to a modern vehicle.

Other Things That Impact the Safety of Passengers

Unbelted Passengers

Panoramic Sunroofs: Are They Dangerous?

 

Now that we have cleared the fact, panoramic sunroofs in themselves are not dangerous. We would like to touch upon the other things which can contribute to safety. Of these, one of the most significant risks during a crash is passenger ejection. Data has highlighted that unbelted occupants are up to 10 times more likely to be ejected from a vehicle during a crash.

So, as you may have guessed, ejected passengers face a much higher risk of fatal or life-changing injuries. So, the most critical safety measure is ensuring that all passengers wear seat belts at all times.

Glass Breakage Concerns

Another concern people have is that the broken glass from panoramic sunroofs can cause issues. However, the fact is that high-quality panoramic sunroofs use laminated glass, similar to windshields. So it holds together the broken pieces when shattered. This reduces the risk of injury from sharp shards.

Safety in a Rollover Crash

Panoramic Sunroofs: Are They Dangerous?

As stated above, manufacturers ensure that vehicles with panoramic sunroofs meet all safety standards. The steel frame’s strength, particularly in the pillars, is the primary factor in protecting occupants during a rollover.

Also, in order to enhance safety, many car manufacturers are now developing innovative safety features such as roof airbags. These airbags deploy during a rollover. They are tasked with providing extra protection against ejection and broken glass.

Practical Safety Measures If You Have a Car with a Panoramic Sunroof

As stated above, car manufacturers are doing their part in ensuring safety. However, vehicle owners and passengers must also adopt safe practices to reduce the risks caused during accidents.

Seat Belts

Panoramic Sunroofs: Are They Dangerous?
Sachin Tendulkar in his BMW GT

As we have stated time and time again, wearing seat belts is the most important thing you can do to be safe inside a vehicle. Everyone in the vehicle, including passengers in the second and third rows, must buckle up to prevent ejection during a rollover. Also, make sure that children are in appropriate car seats and are properly wearing belts.

Avoid Risky Behavior

Panoramic Sunroofs: Are They Dangerous?
Kid sitting out of sunroof

One of the biggest issues in India is that people engage in risky behavior. This includes hanging out of the sunroof, which is a very common but dangerous practice. We have said this numerous times: this should be strictly avoided.

The reason is that not only does it expose passengers to the risk of being ejected during sudden stops or accidents, it also detracts from the driver’s focus on the road. So, please avoid coming out of the sunroof in any situation.

Protecting the Sunroof

Panoramic Sunroofs: Are They Dangerous?

As a car owner, you should be careful while parking your car under trees, especially coconut trees. This generally poses a risk to the panoramic sunroof. Falling objects can damage the glass, leading to costly repairs. Now, most good insurance policies typically cover such damages. However, as an owner, you have to take preventive measures.

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