A segment aired on CBS This Morning, CBS Eyewitness News Philly, and CBS Evening News yesterday, highlighting the issue of seat back failure and the efforts being made by ARCCA to press the National Highway Safety Transportation Board (NHTSA) for higher seat strength standards in order to save lives.
If your vehicle is hit from behind, your seat may not be able to withstand the impact and protect you or anyone sitting in the rear seat behind you, such as a child. Strength requirements for seat backs were originally developed by the auto industry before anyone fully understood crashes, and have not changed since that time. The current NHTSA standards for seat strength are so low that when ARCCA used lawn chairs, banquet chairs and cardboard seats in its seat strength testing, all met or exceeded the current NHTSA requirements. While no one is recommending using them in vehicles, it shows how ridiculous the current standards are.
Crash tests have shown that when a vehicle is rear-ended, the driver is launched backwards. If the seat is unable to withstand the impact, the driver slams into the child seated behind him or headfirst into the rear seat if no child is present, often resulting in death or serious injury.
ARCCA recently petitioned the NHTSA to improve its standards for seat strength (ARCCA’s first petition was in 1989, but NHTSA did nothing to change the standards). Even if your vehicle has a 5-star safety rating, that rating does not currently apply to seat strength, and you and your family could be at risk in a rear-end collision.
ARCCA also provides testing and technical consultation to the government and other agencies, such as the US Military, NIOSH, FEMA and NASA, as well as professional sports teams, where we’ve developed and tested designs to improve safety.
To view the CBS This Morning News segment, please click here.