Government Proposes New Rules for Child Car Seat Safety

By | January 29, 2014
A new government proposal, intended to better protect children in side crashes, would require a first-ever side impact test for car seats sold in the U.S. Under the proposal, the new crash evaluation would test car seats designed for children weighing up to 40 pounds. It would subject the child restraints to "T-bone" crashes, simulating what happens when a car coming head-on strikes the side of a vehicle at 30 mph. The car seats would undergo testing to see if they can adequately prevent a child's head from colliding with an intruding vehicle door and if they can reduce crash force to the child's head and chest. NHTSA currently uses dummies that represent 12-month-old children in its varied tests, but the new proposal would also require dummies that represent 3-year-olds. "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," said Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx in a recent statement.
If the proposal makes it to law, car seat manufacturers would have three years to make the changes required to meet the new standards. Members of the public currently have 90 days to comment on the proposal before the next stage of the process. Car seat makers have already made great strides in improving the safety of car seats. In November, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety revealed that more booster seat models than ever earned top marks in safety tests. The new proposal from the NHTSA has the potential to further these safety gains. Source: NHTSA