It sounds cliché, but it is nonetheless true. If you are a parent, the most “precious cargo” you’ll ever carry around in your vehicle is your child or children. Most of us shudder to think about being involved in a car accident with our kids in the car, and we try to do all we can to ensure that they are as protected as they can be.
Unfortunately, while child passenger safety has improved tremendously over the past several decades, crash-testing protocols have not been as rigorous in this area as they could be. Thankfully, that may soon be changing, according to a recent announcement issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
This past week was Child Passenger Safety Week, and an opportune time for the NHTSA to announce the arrival of the Q3s, a new type of crash-test dummy that mimics the size, weight and fragility of a three-year-old child. The Q3s was specifically designed to help measure the effectiveness of child car seats during side-impact crashes.
The agency is also looking to expand testing of other crash scenarios involving child safety seats, seeking to update recommended-use labeling on car seats and working to make it easier for parents to register child safety seats in order to ensure that they receive any recall notices.
Most of us pay little attention to these seemingly mundane efforts by regulators to make incremental improvements to automobile safety. Certainly, this isn’t the most exciting sector of the federal government. But even if we don’t pay much attention to it, we can all be grateful that there are professional men and women doing this important work on our behalf. If any of us are ever unlucky enough to be involved in a car accident with our young kids in the back seat, such mundane safety advancements could literally save the lives we value most.