NHTSA Proposes New Car Seat Side Impact Crash Tests

A recent proposal from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) seeks to conduct for the first time, tests on car seats in side impact crashes. The focus would be on performance of child restraint systems designed for children who weigh up to 40 pounds. From these tests, the NHTSA would be able to provide valuable information to parents and other consumers on how car seats withstand side impact car accidents.

The test would simulate a T-bone accident, where one vehicle going 30 mph would hit the side of another vehicle going 15 mph. An already existing 12-month-old dummy would be utilized. It would also include a side impact dummy they would develop which would represent a 3-year-old child. No matter how well-meaning, there are common mistakes parents make when purchasing car seats.

NHTSA indicates that in order to meet their side impact requirements a car seat must restrain the child in such a way that when the door crushes inward upon impact, the head and chest are protected. It’s believed that with this proposed testing, every year it would prevent approximately 64 injuries and five deaths. The NHTSA has been cracking down on child restraint manufacturers as recently evidenced by faulty strap recall on car seats.

If the proposed requirements are passed, upon a final rule publication, manufacturers would have three years to make whatever changes are necessary to meet these standards.  It’s yet another step toward not only improving the safety of car seats but saving lives.

Seeking Legal Counsel When a Car Seat Is the Cause of a Child’s Injuries or Death

Car seats are a common subject of recalls. Most of these stem from defects in the design or manufacturing of the product. But sometimes children are injured or killed before one can be issued. In fact, in some situations it’s not until an adverse event occurs that awareness is raised regarding a safety issue.

Whether a child suffers serious or fatal injuries before or after a recall, there may be legal recourse that can be taken against the car seat manufacturer. To learn if you have a valid product liability claim, contact an attorney today at Gacovino, Lake & Associates (800) 550-000.

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