NHTSA to propose rules for side crash dummies for children

NHTSA to propose rules for side crash dummies for children

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration plans to propose rules soon for side impact crashes for small children. The rules would outline requirements for a side impact, crash dummy, representing a 3-year-old. The dummy would help NHTSA meet the requirement mandated by Congress in July 2012 to issue a rule to improve the protection of children in car seats during side impacts.

NHTSA also announced a Significant and Seamless initiative that calls for the agency to work with the auto industry to accelerate technological advances that would significantly improve safety.

Todays announcement focuses on real solutions that can significantly address safety issues that have plagued this nation for decades, including failure to use seat belts, drunk driving and driver error, said Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. A breakdown of the three technologies:

Seatbelt interlocks. NHTSA is doing research on whether to allow automakers to use interlocks to satisfy crash test requirements. Each year more than 3,000 people killed in crashes could have survived if they had been wearing a seatbelt. Seatbelt interlocks could increase national use from 86 percent currently to near 100 percent, NHTSA says. But the agency wants to ensure that the interlocks would be tamperproof.

Driver alcohol detection system. This technology could prevent a vehicle from being driven by a drunk driver. NHTSA and the auto industry are researching the legal, public policy and consumer acceptance issues so that when the technology is ready, manufacturers will find a marketplace. The system would accurately detect when a driver is above the legal alcohol limit, every time a car is started. NHTSA says more than 10,300 people were killed in drunk driving crashes in 2012.

Forward collision avoidance. This sensor-based vehicle technology could detect a potential forward crash with another vehicle or pedestrian before it occurs, by alerting the driver to take corrective action to avoid the crash. The system would automatically apply the brakes to help prevent or reduce the severity of crashes.

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