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According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 42 percent of all car accident fatalities of children under 8 years old occur because of side-impact collisions, yet it only has proposed new side-impact test regulations for car seats in the past year, due to complications in determining the best ways to prevent injury during these crashes. The proposed upgrades to the federal motor vehicle safety standard for child-restraint systems will hopefully ensure that young car passengers are better protected in these dangerous “t-bone” crashes.
These new regulations require thorough side impact tests for car seats that are sold in the U.S. and designed for children weighing up to 40 pounds. Each test would use a dummy simulating a 12-month-old and a 3-year-old child to make sure that the car seats prevent harmful head contact with an intruding vehicle door and reduce crash forces transmitted to the head and chest during side-impact collisions.
Car seat manufacturers will not be forced to comply with these newly finalized regulations in 2015, but most new models are already undergoing the required testing as manufacturers prepare to meet federal guidelines. While the NHTSA believes that most car seats already should pass the tests, some car seats will require adjustments.
As the NHTSA begins to implement the new car seat standards for side impact crash safety, there are still several things that you can do to ensure that your children are as safe as possible.
By taking these few small actions, you are better keeping your children safe.
Until the test is fully implemented by the NHTSA, some inconsistencies of car seat protection during side-impact crashes will be inevitable, but every car seat still must have a minimal amount of protection. Our car accident attorneys serve clients throughout the Chicago area, including Aurora, Elgin, Hinsdale, Joliet, Naperville, and Waukegan. If you get into a side impact crash and your child is injured due to a faulty car seat, you deserve compensation. Contact us at Staver Accident Injury Lawyers, P.C. at (312) 236-2900 for a free consultation with a lawyer to find out how we can help.