Roll Cages are metallic frames built in the passenger compartment of vehicles to protect the occupants from being injured in case of a rollover accident or other kinds of heavy impact accidents.
The idea behind installing a roll cage is that if the vehicle meets with an accident where it rolls, and some of its parts get damaged or crushed, the cage prevents the occupants by providing a layer of protective covering. This safety feature, usually retrofitted, is designed to work with other safety features like crumple zones and seat belts. Etc.
Whereas the Roll Cages provide a certain safety up gradation to the cabin occupants of the car, the question is what does the increased weight do to the handling dynamics of the car? Does it make it better or there is no effect at all…The answer to this is yes. Usually a roll cage will improve handling. The reason is the limitation of chassis flex due to which the suspension to do its job better. The structure of the roll cage is calculated to make the suspension more rigid and strong. But the problem is that most pre built roll bars /roll cages have a design flaw. The cage should not ideally be bolted to the floorboard as the floorboard is not the best area of the car, structurally at least. To be most effective and to make the greatest impact on the handling dynamics, the roll cage should be contacting the rocker panels and the strut towers.
For the handling to be improved, it must be understood that the area of most flex on a forward chassis vehicle is near the firewall. If you install a cage that has a bar going horizontal across the dash area will have the most impact on response and handling. A roll cage will assist you to offer a reinforced zone inside the car to protect the driver.
So the bottom-line is that Roll Cages if installed effectively and full understanding of the dynamics of the movement of the car, can, in addition to hugely impacting the safety feature, will also, usually enhance the handling and stability of the motor vehicle. The fitting process is of prime importance and only experienced mechanics with proper knowledge of welding and drilling techniques should be entrusted with the installation of a roll cage, since it is a rather expensive procedure.