Car Seat Safety: Protecting Your Child in a Side-Impact Car Crash

With all of the changes in regulations on car seat safety over the last several years, one might think that our children are in worse danger just by sitting in the very seats that are supposed to keep them safe. Age and weight recommendations keep changing, recalls keep popping up in the news, and expiration dates warn us to get rid of our seats before they harm our kids.

Now, federal regulators at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) are proposing new testing. The plan is to rigorously test child safety seats during side-impact crash testing, with the goal of defining adequate protection in the event of a side-impact crash.

This recommendation isn’t a new one, though. For over a decade, the NHTSA has been looking at side-impact testing for car seats, but the testing process apparently has been more difficult than consumers might expect.

NHTSA’s New Proposal for Side-Impact Crash Testing

  • Testing should simulate a crash’s impact on a 12-month-old and a three-year-old.
  • All car seats should prevent harmful head contact with the car door
  • All car seats should reduce the force of impact on a child’s head and chest.
  • All seats for children up to 40 lbs. would be affected.

Many seats may already meet these criteria, while others may only need extra padding. After the three-month trial proposal period, manufacturers will have three years to get all new car seats in compliance with the new regulations.

In the meantime, where does your child’s safety measure up? If you’re involved in a t-bone accident on one of Washington, D.C.’s busy streets, will your child be kept safe by the car seat you depend on?

Have questions about car seat safety or liability in a car accident? Contact our offices today to speak with a skilled car accident attorney to learn more.