A Roll Over Protection Structure (ROPS) is a reinforcement member(s) installed in to, or on to a vehicle with the intention of protecting the vehicles occupants in the event of a roll over accident or collision.
The primary intent of a Roll Cage is to limit the crushing and deformation of the vehicle roof and cabin structure during a roll over accident. This ensures that the vehicle occupants are provided with an adequate amount of survival space which reduces the risk of head, neck/spinal, and upper torso injuries, ultimately preventing death. However, it must be made clear that, a roll cage does not guarantee prevention of death, it is designed to reduce the possibility and severity of injury.
Secondary to the critical safety aspect of a Roll Cage, there is also great benefits found in the additional structural rigidity of the vehicle body, which is a result of installation of a ROPS. This improves handling and suspension characteristics of the vehicle, and offering greater scope for tuning these important areas. Therefore, a Roll Cage can be designed to not only protect, but also to improve the vehicles performance at the same time.