Getting ejected from your vehicle during a car crash can make the outcome painstaking in terms of injuries, or worse, fatalities. Recently, the U.S. government announced they are taking one more final step to help prevent car ejection injuries in passenger vehicle crashes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Our Carolina automobile accident attorneys agree the government needs to continue to be proactive in making the roadways safer. Drivers know they need to wear seat belts but some still fail to wear them. Adding more safety features in vehicles can only increase the chances of surviving a serious accident.
“Safety is our highest priority,” said Secretary Ray LaHood. “This new standard will help save lives and reduce injuries by requiring vehicles to have a safety system that keeps occupants in the vehicle in a rollover crash.”
The rule, due to start phasing into effect in 2013, will require car manufacturers to develop a mechanism for light truck vehicles under 10,000 pounds, which will prevent adult passengers without a seat belt from moving more than 4 inches beyond the side window opening of the vehicle during a crash.
By 2018, all new models will need to be equipped with this protection.
According to 2008 data from the NHTSA involving fatal crashes, 77% of the occupants in passenger vehicles who were ejected from the vehicle were killed.
Rollover crashes accounted for 35% of all passenger vehicle occupant fatalities in 2008. SUVs accounted for the highest percentage of occupant fatalities in fatal rollover crashes at 58%. Pickup trucks reported 48% of fatally injured passenger vehicle occupants in rollover crashes, followed by vans at 35% and passenger cars at 25%.
Light trucks were involved in 39% of passenger vehicle occupant fatalities for North Carolina in 2008. Though South Carolina didn’t have as many vehicles involved in accidents, light trucks played a role in 44% of passenger vehicle occupant fatalities in 2008.
“Rollover crashes are the deadliest of all crash types and this is another important step in our efforts to reduce fatalities and serious injuries that result from them,” said Administrator David Strickland, NHTSA.
Whether it is seat belts, air bags, anti-lock brakes or any other safety feature, car manufacturers have a continued responsibility to build safer passenger vehicles. The government can continue ensuring compliance with this obligation by instilling rules and regulations that will make passenger vehicle occupants safer in the event of a crash.
Contact the experienced attorneys at Lee & Smith if you or someone you love has been injured in a Carolina automobile accident. They are committed to helping you so call for a free appointment at 1-800-887-1965.