Just a few days after a jury in Texas handed down a $124.5 million verdict against an automaker for a defect, auto safety experts are calling for action on another defect. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration so far has told parents that the safest place to put children is in the backseat. This is because many vehicles can collapse and launch occupants into the rear of the car. Seatback failure issues are most likely to put children in danger, although drivers can also face high risks of catastrophic injuries.
In a recent study conducted by the Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine, children faced double the injury risk if the seat in front of them suffered a collapse or became deformed in a rear-end collision. Nearly three-quarters of crashes involved vehicles where occupants in front of children experienced moved back and caused serious injuries to the children. Although this was a small study, auto safety experts are looking to discover whether seat strength needs to be improved in order to protect all occupants in the car.
According to some preliminary research, it would not be a big investment for automakers to add the kind of seat strength that would help eliminate serious accidents.