NHTSA proposes new side-impact safety tests for car seats

Jan. 22, 2014 at 3:58 PM

WASHINGTON, Jan. 22 (UPI) -- The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is proposing changes in U.S. safety standards to include side-impact protection in child safety seats.

Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced the proposed upgrades, including one for a side impact test for car seats sold in the United States and designed for children who weigh as much as 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," Foxx said in a news release.

The Transportation Department release said car seats in simulated side-impact crashes would have to "demonstrate they can safely restrain a child by preventing harmful head contact with an intruding vehicle door and reducing the crash forces transmitted to the child's head and chest."

The NHTSA said it estimated the change would prevent five deaths and 64 injuries annually.

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