NHTSA Aims to Boost Child Protection in Side-Impact Crashes

NHTSA Aims to Boost Child Protection in Side-Impact Crashes

Soon, child car seats could, for the first time, be required to protect children from injury and death in the event of a side-impact accident. According to STL Today, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is proposing the requirement. The government is looking to upgrade standards on child car seats for children who weigh at least 40 pounds. The new test would simulate a side-impact accident in an effort to prevent injuries and death among these young motorists.


Under this proposal, the new test would simulate a “T-bone” accident, with speeds pf 30 miles per hour, to test the effectiveness of the car seat rather than just testing the overall vehicle protection.

Our St. Louis car accident lawyers know many child injuries and fatalities happen in side-impact accidents at intersections, usually at a stop sign or at a traffic light. When a vehicle starts to accelerate and travel through an intersection, it is oftentimes hit by a vehicle traveling faster on the cross street.

This would be a first of its kinds test. Aside from using the typical 12-month-old child dummy that the NHTSA already uses, a 3-year-old child dummy will also be used.

“As a father of two, I know the peace of mind this proposed test will give parents,” said Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.

For some time now, safety advocates have been working to toughen these standards — to protect children in side-impact collisions.

Some manufacturers are already working to protect children in the event of side-impact accidents by bettering car seats. The Dorel Juvenile Group, the world’s biggest car-seat manufacturer, has been working to incorporate small, inflated air bags in some of their seat models to better protect children’s heads in the event of an accident. They’ve been doing this since 2009.

The public is offered a 90-day comment period. They will not be made final and put into effect before the comments have been reviewed and answered. Oftentimes, that can take months and even year, but officials with the NHTSA say that they plan to move quickly.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 1,200 children ages 14 and younger died as occupants in motor vehicle crashes, and more than 170,000 were injured.

But putting your child in a size- and age-appropriate car or booster seat, you can help to reduce their risks of injury and death by more than half. To be exact: Child safety seats reduce the risk of death in passenger cars by 71 percent for infants, and by 54 percent for toddlers ages 1 to 4 years.

But you want to make sure that it’s installed properly. While 96 percent of parents and caregivers believe their child safety seats are installed correctly, research shows that seven out of 10 children are improperly restrained.

Remember, only when your child reaches 4 feet 9 inches in height and is between 8 and 12 years of age should they sit in the back seat of the vehicle and use the lap and shoulder seat belts for optimal protection.

More Blog Entries:

Fatal Missouri Crash Blamed on Teen Speed, Alcohol, St. Louis Injury Lawyer Blog, January 17, 2014

St. Louis Traffic Accidents — 5 Ways to Help Teen Drivers, St. Louis Injury Lawyer Blog, November 1, 2013

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Ryan R. Cox & Associates, LLC

Ryan R. Cox & Associates, LLC is a litigation law firm that represents individuals and families in serious personal injury and wrongful death claims throughout Missouri. We help people who have been injured in all types of accidents—including car or truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, slip and fall accidents, and much more. Whether your injury is something that can cause long-term issues like a brain injury or spinal cord injury, or it is something you’ll likely make a full recovery from, we are here to help.

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