NHTSA plans to add side impact test for child restraint systems
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently announced improvements in thier existing testing for child restraint systems. The new proposal includes side impact testing for all car seats sold in the United States. NHTSA’s proposal was made in response to their goal to reduce injuries and deaths of children who are in a child restraint system and involved in a crash.
According to their recent announcement The new testing involves simulating a “T-Bone” or side impact crash where a vehicle traveling at 30mph will impact the side of another vehicle traveling at 15mph. This type of test will simulate both the acceleration of the struck vehicle and the vehicle door collapsing toward the child/car seat. Both a 12 month old child dummy and a newly designed 3 year old child dummy will be used in the tests. Under the new tests, car seats must demonstrate that they can safely restrain the child protecting them from the intruding vehicle door and reducing the crash forces the child would receive to their head and chest, possibly resulting in Tramautic Brain Injury The NHTSA estimates that this proposal would save five lives and prevent 64 injuries annually.
NHTSA’s notice of proposed rule change will provide child car seat manufacttures a three-year window in order to comply with the proposed safety rule should it be approved.
We applaud NHTSA’s proposed rule change and encourage car seat manufacturers to work toward the goal of making our children safe by implementing safe designs in their child restraint systems immediately.