The U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety
Administration (NHTSA) has proposed upgrades to the federal motor vehicle
safety standard for child-restraint systems to ensure child passengers
are protected in side crashes. The proposed upgrades include a first-ever
side impact test for car seats sold in the U.S. that are designed for
children weighing up to 40 pounds.
"As a father of two, I know the peace of mind this proposed test will
give parents," said Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. "We
all want to make sure our children’s car seats are as safe as possible,
and today’s proposal will give parents and car-seat makers important
new data on how car seats perform in side crashes.”
In the proposed test simulating a side-impact vehicle crash, car seats
must demonstrate they can safely restrain a child by preventing harmful
head contact with an intruding vehicle door and reducing the crash forces
transmitted to the child’s head and chest. NHTSA estimates that
the proposal would save five lives and prevent 64 injuries annually.
"Car seats are an essential tool for keeping young children safe
in vehicles and have a proven track record of saving lives," said
NHTSA Acting Administrator David Friedman. "Today we continue to
build on our extensive child seat safety program by adding side-impact
crash protection for the first time."
Under the proposal, car seats would be tested in a specially designed
sled test that simulates a “T-bone” crash, where the front
of a vehicle traveling 30 mph strikes the side of a small passenger vehicle
traveling at 15 mph. The sled test is the first of its kind in the world
being proposed for regulation, as it simulates both the acceleration of
the struck vehicle and the vehicle door crushing toward the car seat.
In addition to using an existing 12-month-old child dummy, the proposed
test will also utilize a newly developed side-impact dummy representing
a 3-year-old child. The agency proposed a 3-year timeframe for car-seat
manufacturers to make any necessary changes to meet the proposed requirements
upon final rule publication.
Notice of Proposed Rulemaking
is being published in the Federal Register and members of the public will
have the opportunity to comment on the proposal for 90 days. Parents,
guardians and care providers can search for current child seat safety
recalls and find where they can get help installing child car seats through
the free Safercar.gov App available on Apple iOS enabled devices through the
Apple App Store
The above information came from NHTSA’s