Report to Congress: Anton's Law, Section 6 - Evaluation of Integrated Child Safety Systems

Anton's Law, Public Law 107-318 (116 Stat. 2772), calls, in part, for evaluation of integrated child safety systems. Section 6 directs the Secretary of Transportation to evaluate built-in or integrated child restraints and booster seats in the following areas: (1) the safety of the child restraint and correctness of fit for the child; (2) the availability of testing data on the system and vehicle in which the child restraint will be used; (3) the compatibility of the child restraint with different makes and models of vehicles; (4) the cost-effectiveness of mass production of the child restraint for consumers; (5) the ease-of-use and relative availability of the child restraint to children riding in motor vehicles; and (6) the benefits of integrated seats for improving compliance with State child occupant restraint laws. Anton's Law also directs the Secretary to report to Congress on this evaluation no later than December 4, 2003 (12 months from the date of enactment). This report fulfills the reporting requirement. Briefly, the findings are as follows: (1) There are no existing integrated seats that can properly fit all heights and weights of children. It is assumed that integrated child restraints would be designed for children age 1-7, with internal harnesses for 1 to 3 year olds. There are also no rear-facing integrated seats, meaning that infants still need rear-facing add-on child restraints. (2) Analysis of Compliance and New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) data and a Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) study indicate that integrated child restraints do not provide enhanced safety over add-on child restraint systems. (3) The agency knows of no compatibility problems for integrated child restraints, although there are some concerns regarding proper fit. The agency would expect a small benefit from integrated child restraints for compatibility if all vehicles were equipped with integrated child restraints. (4) The estimated incremental benefits of requiring one integrated child restraint per vehicle over the current situation would be up to 20 lives saved and 166 Abbreviated Injury Severity (AIS) 2-5 (Moderate-Critical) injuries reduced annually. The incremental cost would be $302 million annually, resulting in an incremental cost of about $20 million per equivalent life saved (discounted at 7%). (5) It is assumed that because integrated child seats are permanently installed in vehicles, they are easy to use. However, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has not done a rating on integrated child restraints based on their ease of use to confirm this assumption. In fiscal year 2004 the agency will examine the feasibility of developing criteria to rate integrated child seats and evaluate the criteria to determine if an ease of use rating program for integrated child seats would be beneficial to consumers. (6) Integrated child restraints have not been designed for rear-facing infants. Also, integrated child restraints are not designed for every seating position, and many families have three or more children in the 1-7 year old age group. Thus all children required by State laws to be in child restraints cannot use an integrated child restraint to meet the State law. They would need to be restrained by add-on child restraints.

Language

  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Features: Tables;
  • Pagination: 37p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01000755
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
  • Files: HSL, TRIS, USDOT
  • Created Date: Jun 3 2005 2:37PM