The safety of child car seats in side impact crashes is about to be put to the test.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is proposing new standards it says will save children's lives and prevent injuries. Under the proposed standards, the new seats would have to protect the child's head from the car's door being crushed in a side impact accident.
Many seats on the market claim they are safe in side collisions. Now, the government wants them to prove it.
Sarah Blout, a mom from Virginia, was in an accident 15 years ago when another driver ran a stop sign, and hit her car from the side. The accident startled her sleeping nephew.
"It was terrifying," she said, "the accident woke him up."
David Friedman, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, said more work needs to be done to protect children in side-impact crashes.
"The impact of that crash could sadly send their head into the door and cause serious injury," Friedman said. The NHTSA plans to use a specially designed test with child sized dummies to see which seats meet the standards. The agency said the new rules will save five children's lives and prevent 64 injuries a year.
Once the new rules are in place, car seat makers will have three years to comply.
"You want to know every time you drive your kids to the grocery store or to school, that they are going to be safe," Blout said.