New car seat regulations in the works

Posted: Updated:
By Tami Hoey By Tami Hoey

PHOENIX -- New car seat regulations could be in the works. The new rules would be aimed at keeping your child safe from all angles, should a crash occur.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is set to propose a test for side-impact crash protection in child safety seats. It would cover car seats for children up to 40 pounds.

NHTSA estimates that the new test would save five lives and prevent 64 injuries each year.

The proposal has been under consideration by the NHTSA for a decade. 

"Today's proposal will give parents and car seat makers important new data on how car seats perform in side crashes," said Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.

Under the proposal, safety seats would be tested in a specially designed test that simulates a "T-bone" crash, where the front of a vehicle going 30 mph strikes the side of a small passenger vehicle traveling at 15 mph.

This test is the first of its kind being proposed for regulation. It simulates both the acceleration of the struck vehicle and the vehicle door crushing toward the child safety seat. Along with using an existing 12-month-old child dummy, the proposed test will also utilize a planned side-impact dummy representing a 3-year-old child.

The NHTSA has proposed a three-year time frame for car seat manufacturers to make any necessary changes to meet the rule.