Would you believe us if we told you that your child’s car seat wasn’t tested for its effectiveness in a side-impact crash? Well, officials with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) are finally addressing that glaring omission.
A new proposal aims to upgrade the federal motor vehicle safety standard regarding child-restraint systems. They’re looking to enact a first of its kind side-impact test for car seats that are sold in the U.S. and are designed for children who weigh up to 40 pounds.
“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 Anthony Foxx, Transportation Secretary.
Our car accident lawyers in New York City know car seats are a child’s best protection against injury and death in the event of a traffic collision. Officials are looking to make sure that these car seats stand up to the challenge in helping to prevent harm to a child’s head and chest in the event of a side-impact accident. They believe that this new test, and the stronger more effective seats that will come of it, will help to prevent close to 100 child injuries each and every year.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the new test will be simulating a “t-bone” accident in which a vehicle that’s traveling at 30 mph will slam into the side of another vehicle traveling at 15 mph. This is the most common kinds of side-impact accidents we see on U.S. roadways, that usually happen at red lights or stop signs. As a matter of fact, they account for about 90 percent of the side-impact collision that occur annually each year.
In addition to the new crash test, officials are also proposing the addition of a 3-year-old crash dummy. As of now, testing officials only use a 12-month-old dummy.
The public will have 90 days to comment on the proposed regulations after they are published. The regulations will not be made final until after the agency has reviewed the comments and answered any important issues that may be raised. That typically takes months and even sometimes years, although NHTSA officials said they hope to move quickly.
By law in all 50 states, your child must be properly restrained in a car seat, usually until he’s at least 7-years-old. Also, most states now require children to ride in booster seats until they weigh 60 pounds or more, or are a certain age or height.
According to the NHTSA, during 2005, motor-vehicle accidents killed nearly 2,000 children under 14 and injured over 230,000. Having a car seat that’s appropriate for your child’s size and age — and that has been installed properly — is essential.
When you’re shopping, get your hands on a few different seats. Buckle and unbuckle the harness. Tighten the harness and loosen it up again. Try adjusting the harness height. Release the seat from the base and snap it back in. This will help you get to know how the seats work, and identify which seats seem intuitive and offer nice, smooth mechanics.
The New York City Law Offices of Nicholas Rose, PLLC offers free consultations. Call 1-877-313-7673.
More Blog Entries:
School Safety: Preventing Chemical Explosions and Burn Injuries, New York Injury Lawyer Blog, January 21, 2014
Protecting Our Youngest Passengers — Child Passenger Safety Week, New York Injury Lawyer Blog, September 24, 2013