U.S. Department of Transportation Proposes New Car Seat Safety

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COLUMBIA - Car seats may have new safety regulations to follow proposed by the U.S. Department of Transportation.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, or NHTSA, proposed on Wednesday that car seats for children under 40 pounds now pass a new type of safety test. This test would be to assure passengers in the car seat could survive crashes from the side.

In order for car seats to currently be sold on shelves, they must pass safety tests by the Federal Safety Standard.

The new test would require car seats to be checked during "T-bone" crashes, with the front of one vehicle driving 30 miles per hour hits the side of another small vehicle traveling 15 miles per hour.

The tests would be performed using 12-month-old and 3-year-old dummies.

NHTSA suggests that this new regulation would save up to five lives, and prevent 64 injuries annually.

Darla Atkins, administrative assistant for the Columbia Fire Marshal's Office, provides the community with the proper training to use car seats.

Atkins said there are car seats with the side crash protection NHTSA is looking for, but those car seats tend to be more expensive than those without.

Atkins, a grandmother of three, said she agrees with the proposed safety tests because it would give families more options when shopping for car seats.

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