Crash test dummies will soon be taking a back seat.
With an increasing number of people relying on ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has announced plans to update its use of crash test dummies in frontal crash tests for its 5-Star Safety Rating. These updates will include a provision to start testing the effects of crashes on back seat passengers.
The safety of rear passengers has not been so rigorously regarded – or researched – as that of front seat passengers. There has been much good that has come out of the focus on overall passenger safety, including improved airbags, seat belt alert systems and more effective restraints. However, those in the back – in many cases, children – have been largely ignored. This is despite serious concerns about their safety in collisions.
As some safety advocates have noted many people erroneously believe that 5-Star safety rating extends to all locations in the vehicle. But the reality is the program, founded in 1978, is only designed to indicate how safe the driver and front seat passenger are. Officials at the agency now say it’s time to change that. Continue reading →