Agency Proposes New Safety Test for Car Seats

     WASHINGTON (CN) - The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is considering using a new side impact crash test to update safety requirements for child car seats.
     The test uses a double sled device that causes a simulated wreck with the car door crashing in toward the passenger, while the passenger's car is still moving forward.
     Tuesday, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration proposed using the test to update safety requirements for child restraint systems (such as car seats) for children weighing up to 40 pounds.
     "The proposed sled test is the first of its kind in the world for testing child restraints in a sled system that simulates the vehicle acceleration and intruding door of a small passenger car in a side impact (a vehicle-to-vehicle intersection crash)," according to the agency.
     "Impacts to the side of a vehicle rank almost equal to frontal crashes as a source of occupant fatalities and serious injuries to children ages 0 to 12," the agency wrote.
     "We do not have sufficient data to determine what share of covered crashes involves an intruding door, however door intrusion is a causative factor for moderate and serious injury to children in side impacts," the agency wrote.
     The changes are a response to President Barack Obama's 2012 "Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century" Act, which requires additional federal safety standards to better protect children in car seats from side impacts.
     Comments on the proposed rule are due by April 28.