Parents rely on child car seats to keep their children safe when traveling. But, a letter from a group of attorneys argued that the designs of the seats aren’t safe enough.
The group of 17 state attorney generals says that, despite the manufacturers claiming seats are designed with safety in mind, the current standards aren’t good enough.
According to the letter, vehicle accidents are the number one cause of death for children aged between one and thirteen. Car seats have drastically reduced the rates of both deaths and injuries so far, but this could be improved further.
In light of this, they have filed a petition with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Department of Transportation to request that the current standards are modified.
In the letter, the group of officials called for the agency to immediately improve the standards needed. In particular, it asked for new standards to be developed for side-impact.
The letter continued to say that the standards they are requesting should have been developed and implemented decades ago and should be considered essential.
One attorney general also pointed out that Congress instructed NHTSA to adopt side-impact standards for car seats in 2000. And, although some manufacturers voluntarily carry out their own tests, without federal standards, parents are left unsure which companies to trust.
Additionally, they recommended that NHTSA adds a requirement for safety labels on all car seats to urge parents to keep their kids in the seats until they have exceeded the weight and height limits listed.
Connecticut Attorney General William Tong noted, “NHTSA has an obligation to every parent nationwide to adopt clear, strong standards that keep our children safe on the roads. Families cannot wait another 20 years for NHTSA to finally act.”
Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey said side-impact crashes are the cause of nearly as many child injuries and deaths as frontal-impact crashes. They are also more likely to cause serious injuries.