Much-Needed Updates to Federal Car Safety Regulations Could Save Young Lives
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Car safety features have seen a lot of improvements over the last few decades. More car companies are incorporating high-tech safety systems in their standard car models, making driver-assist features more accessible.
However, there are issues that new technology has yet to fix. An investigation by CBS News has discovered a dangerous flaw in the way some front seats react to rear-end accidents. The driver and passenger seats can bend backward when the car is hit from behind, which can seriously injure back seat passengers. Policymakers are hoping to help improve car safety standards to keep children safe.
Faulty front seats can be dangerous in rear-end collisions
The issue occurs when a car experiences a hard blow from the back, causing the seats to break and collapse directly into the passengers behind them. This can happen in a variety of passenger cars and is not contained to one brand.
The flawed seat design is dangerous for everyone in the car, but children are by far the most at risk of injury and death. After a collision, the seats collapse at an angle that would be directed towards a child’s face if they were in the back seat.
These accidents can cause a wide range of injuries to passengers in the front or rear seats, including paralysis. Some people have also lost the ability to speak.
How are safety regulators working to solve this problem?
Though it seems like the solution would be recalling the defective cars, this is actually a legal fault for cars to have—technically.
Correspondents from CBS began investigating this problem in 2015, and have since found that these faulty seats kill at least 50 people a year. However, the cars involved still hold up to federal standards due to outdated National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) regulations from the 60s.
CBS has been pushing to update and improve these standards through legislation with the help of Congresswoman Kathleen Rice. However, efforts have been slow, as the initiative that would fix the NHTSA standard is part of a much larger infrastructure bill.
The House is having a hard time passing the bill as the parties are more focused on President Biden’s budget act. More and more policymakers are deciding that the budget act should take precedence over lengthy infrastructure adjustments, so the life-saving legislation could lose steam.
How can you protect yourself on the road?
Although the legislation is being discussed and fixes for this problem could come soon, cars and manufacturers aren’t perfect. More issues like this could occur, and it’s important to have the right car insurance coverage to help you prepare for any unexpected accidents.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP) insurance is required in some states and is one of the main policies that keep you protected after a crash. It typically covers some medical fees, lost income, and funeral expenses.
If you’re wondering if your car insurance is right for you, the Jerry app can help. A licensed broker, Jerry will generate competitive quotes from top providers in less than a minute. Jerry gathers your information from your past insurer, so you’re not responsible for any long forms or phone calls. Basically, you get all of the savings and coverage, with none of the hassle.