Government Wants Car Seat Side-Impact Test

By Jennifer Geiger  on January 22, 2014

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This year is shaping up to be a big one for car seat regulations. On the heels of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announcing a Latch weight limit mandate, the Department of Transportation and NHTSA are proposing new crash tests that would highlight how a car seat protects a child in a side-impact crash.

February Brings Changes to Latch Guidelines

NBC News is reporting that the federal government wants to make sure child-safety seats can survive a T-bone crash and is proposing new test standards. Under the proposed guidelines, a car seat would have to prevent the car door from injuring the child's head and reduce head and chest crash forces.

The new test would simulate a 30 mph crash where the front end of a car hits the side of another car traveling 15 mph. NHTSA would implement a new 3-year-old dummy for the side-impact test. According to the safety agency, the new guidelines would save approximately five lives per year and prevent around 64 injuries. 

Currently, car seats have to pass a set of federal safety standards, but this proposed crash test would add a new layer of complexity to car-seat safety ratings.


Assistant Managing Editor Jennifer Geiger is a reviewer, car-seat technician and mom of three. She wears a lot of hats, many of them while driving a minivan.  Email Jennifer


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