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NHTSA proposes side impact test for child car seats

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently proposed upgrades to the safety standards governing child restraint systems. The proposal includes a first-ever side impact test for child car seats sold in the United States.

The proposed test simulates a “T-bone” crash, in which a small passenger vehicle traveling at 15 mph is impacted from the side by a vehicle traveling at 30 mph. Car seats would have to prove effective in preventing contact between an intruding vehicle door and a child’s head, as well as in reducing the impact forces transmitted to a child’s chest and head.

The NHTSA estimated that the proposal, if adopted, would save five children’s lives and prevent 64 injuries each year.

The test would use a newly-developed crash test dummy representing a three-year-old child in addition to the existing 12-month-old dummy.

The agency proposed a deadline of three years for car seat manufacturers to make any changes necessary to meet the proposed requirements following the publication of the final rule. The proposed rule is open to public comment for 90 days.

Remember, the safest place in a car is in the middle of the back seat. If you or your child is injured in an auto accident, contact an experienced personal injury attorney right away.

Posted on Monday, March 31st, 2014. Filed under Catastrophic Injury, Wrongful Death.