Archive for the ‘national highway traffic safety administration’ Tag

NHTSA, Safe Kids Worldwide and safety advocates urge parents to register car seats and take action during a recall

WASHINGTON – In advance of National Child Passenger Safety Week (Sept. 13-19), National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Administrator Dr. Mark Rosekind and Safe Kids President and CEO Kate Carr joined safety advocates today at the Department of Transportation for a press conference encouraging parents and caregivers to register car seats with the manufacturer and to take immediate action if the product is a part of a recall.

In 2014, more than six million car seats were recalled for a safety defect – the largest car seat recall in U.S. history. Yet, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), fewer than half of those car seats received the necessary repair.

“The safety of children in cars is our biggest priority,” said Administrator Rosekind. “NHTSA is committed to helping parents register their car seats and other child products with manufacturers, which we know is critical if there is a recall. We’re also committed to working with manufacturers to make sure parents receive a quick and thorough solution during a recall so children are protected.”

Safe Kids and NHTSA strongly urge all parents and caregivers to follow these steps to ensure their child is protected in a vehicle.

Register Your Car Seat

Option 1: Register online with your car seat manufacturer or http://www.safercar.gov/parents. You’ll need the model number and date of manufacture found on the label on your car seat.

Option 2: Fill out and mail in the registration card that came with your car seat. It already includes your car seat’s information. No postage required.

Find Out if your Car Seat is Recalled

Visit the NHTSA website and enter your seat’s brand name and model.

“The single best way for parents to learn about a recall is to register their car seat with the manufacturer. Unfortunately, this important first step doesn’t happen nearly enough,” said Kate Carr, president and CEO of Safe Kids Worldwide. “During Child Passenger Safety week, we want to remind all parents to register their car seats and take action when a recall occurs. This is a cost-free remedy the manufacturer provides — and must provide — to protect your child.”

To understand why so few recalled car seats get repaired and to educate parents about the importance of recalls, Safe Kids Worldwide released “Car Seat Recalls: What Every Parent Needs to Know,” a new study which reveals that only 42 percent of parents said they filled out and returned the registration card. That means that on average, six out of 10 parents risk not hearing about a car seat recall in the most timely and dependable manner – directly from the manufacturer. The study, with support from General Motors Foundation, surveyed 562 parents of children who use a car seat, and collected responses from 44 parents who participated in an online bulletin board discussion.

“Through our nearly 20 year partnership with Safe Kids, we’ve made it our mission to help keep families safe in vehicles and on the road,” said Greg Martin, executive director of Global Public Policy for General Motors. “Each year, part of our annual grant is dedicated to fund research studies that shines light on ways to better protect children in and around vehicles.”

When a recall occurs, manufacturers use the information provided on that registration card to contact consumers directly and, if needed, provide the information and appropriate equipment to repair the car seat.

“Manufacturers want consumers to provide their information so if there is new or additional safety information about the car seat, they can be contacted,” said Kelly Mariotti, executive director of Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association. “Registering the product isn’t difficult, no information from registration cards can be used for marketing purposes, and it’s an additional level of protection when traveling with children.”

During the final day of National Child Passenger Safety Week, recognized as National Seat Check Saturday, Certified Child Passenger Safety Technicians will show parents and caregivers how to correctly use, install and register their car seats. Safe Kids will host more than 500 child seat inspections across the country. Car seat inspections are a free service, available to parents year round. Visit safekids.org to locate an event in your community at any time.

Read more at: http://www.nhtsa.gov/About+NHTSA/Press+Releases/2015/nhtsa-safekids-urge-child-seat-registration-09102015

Advertisements

NTSB Wants Collision Avoidance Systems To Come Standard On New Cars

Yesterday, the National Transportation Safety Board issued a special report entitled The Use of Forward Collision Avoidance Systems to Prevent and Mitigate Rear-End Crashes. In the 60-page document, the agency laid out some of its near-term hopes and dreams for America’s auto industry.
As the title suggests, at the top of the NTSB’s wish list was the widespread availability of forward collision avoidance systems — that is, systems that sound alerts and automatically apply brakes when they identify obstacles in a vehicle’s path. Such systems prevent cars from rear-ending vehicles ahead of them, and many are designed to spot pedestrians, too.

Why would the NTSB place such a high value on collision avoidance systems?

For starters, they could prevent many, many injuries and deaths. In a press conference held at the report’s release, NTSB Chairman Christopher A. Hart noted that rear-end collisions are responsible for roughly 1,700 deaths each year and half a million injuries. According to the NTSB, over 80 percent of those injuries and fatalities could be avoided or mitigated if collision avoidance systems were widely available. (Which, FWIW, sounds very similar to the NTSB’s stats associated with vehicle-to-vehicle communications. Coincidence?)

But even more importantly, collision avoidance systems are already available. They’re not some far-off, moonshot technology, they don’t require massive sums of infrastructure investment by automakers, states, or the federal government. They can be found on cars right now.
Unfortunately, collision avoidance systems rarely come standard on new cars, and they can be costly add-ons. As the NTSB notes: “Only 4 out of 684 passenger vehicle models in 2014 included a complete forward collision avoidance system as a standard feature. When these systems are offered as options, they are often bundled with other non-safety features, making the overall package more expensive.”

Hart and his colleagues know that the best way to encourage widespread adoption of collision avoidance systems is to require them on new vehicles. The only thing is, he doesn’t want that technology to increase the cost of cars: “You don’t pay extra for your seatbelt. And you shouldn’t have to pay extra for technology that can help prevent a collision altogether.”

OUR TAKE

It’s a little ironic that the NTSB would issue such a report the same week that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration launched an investigation of the 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee and its potentially flawed collision avoidance system. But that’s not to say that the NTSB’s recommendation isn’t valid. Assuming the agency’s stats are correct, the return on investment in such systems could be huge.

We have a hunch that, like airbags and seatbelts, collision avoidance and other new, high-tech safety systems will soon become standard on new vehicles. Whether that’s due to federal regulation, consumer demand, or automakers’ desire to prove that they care about the safety of their customers is a matter for debate.

As for who’s going to pay for the technology, that’s a no-brainer. Want to take a guess?

Read more at: http://www.thecarconnection.com/news/1098649_ntsb-wants-collision-avoidance-systems-to-come-standard-on-new-cars?fbfanpage

Apps for parents curb distracted teen drivers

Marty Williams recalls the conversations he and his wife would have with their two daughters about the dangers of talking and texting while driving.

“It’s always a concern,” said Williams, who lives in Howard County. “We just drilled it into their heads over and over until they said ‘Okay, we get it,’ and when we saw something [about the dangers of drivers texting] on TV we made sure they saw it, too.”

Parents like Williams have good reason to worry.

Half of teens say they talk on a cellphone while driving, a third say they swap text messages, and almost half say they’ve been a passenger in a vehicle with a teen driver whose phone use put them at risk, according to federal statistics. Teen drivers are more likely to get into a fatal crash than anyone under the age of 80, in part because their brains are still developing the system that evaluates risk.

These days, however, there’s an app for that, several of them, in fact. There are apps that prevent mobile-device use while driving, and some of them alert parents or employers when a user tries to beat the system. They’ve emerged on the market as alarm grows over the carnage caused by distracted driving.

More than 3,300 people die and 420,000 are injured annually in crashes attributed to distracted drivers. But those numbers may be low because, other than a driver’s admission of fault, it’s a challenge to prove that distraction caused a crash.

Among all drivers involved in fatal crashes, teens were the most likely to have been distracted, National Highway Traffic Administration data show.

“They feel invincible,” said Jurek Grabowski, director of research at the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. “They have large social networks and they want to stay in contact with them.”

Conversations on the go, texting, surfing the Internet and taking selfies are such a habit among teens that studies show they underestimate the risk. Teens make up a significant percentage of the approximately 660,000 drivers who are having phone conversations or manipulating electronic devices while driving at any given moment during daylight hours in the United States.

And most teenagers who chat, text or surf while driving are breaking the law.

The District and 37 states — including Maryland and Virginia — ban novice drivers from talking on the phone while driving. The three local jurisdictions and 41 other states bar all drivers from sending and receiving text messages while driving. But respect for those laws is akin to that given the speed limit.

“We need to almost turn this thing into a brick,” David Coleman said recently, holding up his cellphone while sitting in a Bowie Starbucks. “It can’t just be about texting. It has to be about e-mail, Facebook and no inappropriate calls.”

Coleman is marketing director for Louisiana-based Cellcontrol, one of several companies competing for the chance to shut down people’s mobile devices while they’re driving. Most of the companies that sell cellphone service — Verizon, AT&T, Sprint and others — also provide apps that can limit access.

Many of the apps are triggered when a GPS sensor detects that a vehicle is in motion, and some — such as AT&T’s DriveMode — will alert parents or employers when the app has been turned off or disabled. Independent experts consider that a feature buyers should look for.

“Especially for younger drivers. As clever as you can be, they will be more clever,” said Leo McCloskey, a tech guru for the Intelligent Transportation Society of America. “The best way to do it is to integrate the device with the vehicle so that you could have more fine-grained control.”

That fine-grained control means that parents or employers can select the features they want to allow their drivers to use and block those that worry them.

“It’s important to have a solid oversight function so that use can be monitored by a fleet manager or parent,” said Russ Rader of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. “Cellcontrol is one of the better, most complete systems. TeensSafer is another one that we’ve looked at that works pretty well. These products are going to be the most useful for fleet operators and for parents trying to control phone use by their driving teens. Both Cellcontrol and TeenSafer will report attempts to tamper with or override the system.”

Businesses that send fleets of cars, vans or trucks onto the streets have shown increasing interest in those products, as juries have issued multimillion-dollar rewards to those injured or killed by distracted drivers who were on the job.

Systems integrated into the vehicle are triggered when the car or truck begins to move.

“We’re not guessing based on a satellite, we’re depending on the vehicle to tell us,” said Cellcontrol’s Coleman as he spent a morning demonstrating his company’s product in Prince George’s County. “Otherwise, how do I know you’re not on a Greyhound bus or on a plane that has landed and is taxiing to the gate?”

Cellcontrol provides two options for connecting to a vehicle. One is a device the size of an EZpass transponder that is glued to the windshield with the same adhesive material used to secure rearview mirrors. The more sophisticated choice plugs in to a vehicle’s diagnostic computer port. The $129-system works with iPhones, Androids, BlackBerrys and Windows Mobile.

The system involves an app that is downloaded to the phone of the driver — teenager or employee. The key to the system is software that can be installed on a home computer, tablet or mobile device that allows an authorized person — parent or boss — to customize what the driver is permitted to do, and to monitor compliance.

“We’re not blocking the signal, we’re allowing a protective policy to be brought into the device,” he said. “The administrator has the option to make the policy as restrictive as possible, or not.”

For example, phone use could be restricted to a hands-free device. Or calls could be restricted to an emergency number or a parent or office.

Or parents could attempt to mandate that all passengers in the car driven by their teenager download the app.

“You could decide this is the kids’ car and we don’t want knuckleheads sitting in the passenger’s seat showing the driver YouTube videos,” Coleman said.

Coleman demonstrated how his phone was pre-programmed to go into safe mode when he drove, but when handed to a passenger it was fully operative. A second phone he brought along went into safe mode when the car was moving, regardless of whether it was in his hands or those of a passenger.

Acknowledging that parents are dealing with a technology-savvy generation and that employers exist in a technologically smart world, Coleman said, “We’ve built in some traps and fail-safes to notify the parent or employer.”

McCloskey said that companies like Cellcontrol that provide integrated services are “where we need to go.”

“The operating system of the phone itself can interact with the operating system of the vehicle in such a way that services can be authorized, services can be presented, and services can be consumed all in a safe and predictable manner,” McCloskey said.

Although he is concerned about distracted driving, McCloskey thinks it as a relatively short-term problem.

“The irony, frankly, is that in the medium to long term, as autonomous vehicles really start making a mark, all this goes away as a concern,” he said.

As read on: http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/trafficandcommuting/apps-for-parents-curb-distracted-teen-drivers/2014/04/19/2346c724-c802-11e3-bf7a-be01a9b69cf1_story.html?sf25252017=1

Rear backup cameras to become standard on all vehicles

After years of delay, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has announced a final rule that would require automakers to install rear-visibility technology in all vehicles by May 2018. In many vehicles, this technology will take the form of a rear-view camera.

The aim of the rule is to expand a driver’s field of view to help her detect areas behind the vehicle in an effort to reduce death and injury resulting from backover incidents. NHTSA is requiring the view from the rear-visibility technology be a 10-foot by 20-foot zone directly behind the vehicle. There are other requirements, including image size, linger time, response time, durability, and deactivation for these systems.

Each year, there are 210 individuals killed and 15,000 injured by vehcles backing over them, according to NHTSA. Thirty-one percent of those killed are children under 5 years old; 26 percent are people over age 70. Even when drivers use all three mirrors on their car, they cannot often see a blind zone several feet high directly behind.

NHTSA expects that 58 to 69 lives will be saved each year once the entire fleet is equipped with the rear-visibility technology announced in this final rule.

This rear-visibility rule has not been without controversy. Congress mandated it in 2008, but it had been repeatedly delayed. Last fall, in an effort to push the standard along, Consumer Reports, through its Consumers Union policy and advocacy arm, joined safety advocates in filing a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Transportation asking a court to order the agency to promptly issue the safety rule.

Ellen Bloom, senior director of federal policy at Consumers Union, said: “This rule is going to make a profound difference in public safety, especially for children. We thank the Administration for finalizing the rule, which will help save lives and prevent injuries. This day has been a long time coming, and we urge automakers to move quickly to beat the 2018 deadline.”

Many automakers have already been putting backup cameras in cars in response to consumer demand for this valued safety and convenience feature.

As read on: http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2014/03/rear-backup-cameras-to-become-standard-on-all-vehicles/index.htm

AAP’s new car seat guidelines change rear facing & booster rules

Everything you thought you knew about car seats is wrong. Okay, not everything, but things have changed and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) along with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced new guidelines today. And it’s big news! The recommendation is that children rear face longer and they also changed the details for kids in boosters.

More from The Stir: 7 Rules for Buying & Installing a Car Seat

It was believed that 1 year and 20 pounds was the benchmark for forward facing babies in car seats, despite evidence elsewhere that that was still dangerously early. Now, hopefully, with new guidelines, parents and doctors can get on board and spread the word about the safest practices for children. Here are the details.

New Rear-facing Recommendation: Parents are to keep children rear-facing until 2 years old, or until they reach the maximum height and weight for the seat as noted in the manual.

Safe Kids agrees. Two years is a goal easily met, considering even some of the lowest cost seats now rear-face until 40 pounds. When your baby outgrows their infant carrier, that is when you buy a convertible seat that rear-faces longer, not a forward-facing seat, which you can put upright up to 30 degrees when kids are bigger with better head control, often making them take up less space than infant seats.

New Boostering Recommendation: Children should ride in a belt-positioning booster (that means a high-back!) until they are at least 4 foot, 9 inches, AND 8-12 years old.

Jennifer Hoekstra, the Safe Kids Program Coordinator at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids, shared:

In working with parents, we educate them beyond the law and share with them the best practice for keeping their child safe. We strongly agree with the new AAP policy and support the extended rear-facing limits as well as the new booster seat advice.

It’s best to keep children in their harnessed seat until they outgrow it, which is into elementary years with the height and weight of most convertible seats and even harness-to-booster seats these days. But they will outgrow it and go into a booster, and eventually they need to meet all points in a 5-point test before they’re ready to sit in a car’s seat without a booster of any kind. Remember that these belts are designed to fit an average adult. Best practice is also waiting until children are 80-100 pounds as well.

More from The Stir: The Forward-Facing Car Seat Controversy Continued

Beyond that, all kids need to stay out of the front until they’re at least 13 years old.

While 2 years or 8 years may now be the minimums, we don’t parent by minimums, do we? Buying a high quality (not necessarily high cost!) seat to start, after you do all your research to choose the best seat for your child, can easily help you meet these recommendations.

Make sure you’re using the car seats correctly, too. There’s a lot of intricacies for both harnessed seats and boosters. When in doubt, find a Safe Kids inspection station or event and get checked out by a tech. And hopefully more and more pediatricians, with these new recommendations, will be on board as well, and we can maybe put an end to vehicle related-injuries being the number one cause of death in kids ages 2-14.

As read on: http://shine.yahoo.com/parenting/aaps-new-car-seat-guidelines-change-rear-facing-booster-rules-2466904.html

AAP’s new car seat guidelines change rear facing & booster rules

Everything you thought you knew about car seats is wrong. Okay, not everything, but things have changed and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) along with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced new guidelines today. And it’s big news! The recommendation is that children rear face longer and they also changed the details for kids in boosters.

More from The Stir: 7 Rules for Buying & Installing a Car Seat

It was believed that 1 year and 20 pounds was the benchmark for forward facing babies in car seats, despite evidence elsewhere that that was still dangerously early. Now, hopefully, with new guidelines, parents and doctors can get on board and spread the word about the safest practices for children. Here are the details.

New Rear-facing Recommendation: Parents are to keep children rear-facing until 2 years old, or until they reach the maximum height and weight for the seat as noted in the manual.

Safe Kids agrees. Two years is a goal easily met, considering even some of the lowest cost seats now rear-face until 40 pounds. When your baby outgrows their infant carrier, that is when you buy a convertible seat that rear-faces longer, not a forward-facing seat, which you can put upright up to 30 degrees when kids are bigger with better head control, often making them take up less space than infant seats.

New Boostering Recommendation: Children should ride in a belt-positioning booster (that means a high-back!) until they are at least 4 foot, 9 inches, AND 8-12 years old.

Jennifer Hoekstra, the Safe Kids Program Coordinator at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids, shared:

In working with parents, we educate them beyond the law and share with them the best practice for keeping their child safe. We strongly agree with the new AAP policy and support the extended rear-facing limits as well as the new booster seat advice.

It’s best to keep children in their harnessed seat until they outgrow it, which is into elementary years with the height and weight of most convertible seats and even harness-to-booster seats these days. But they will outgrow it and go into a booster, and eventually they need to meet all points in a 5-point test before they’re ready to sit in a car’s seat without a booster of any kind. Remember that these belts are designed to fit an average adult. Best practice is also waiting until children are 80-100 pounds as well.

More from The Stir: The Forward-Facing Car Seat Controversy Continued

Beyond that, all kids need to stay out of the front until they’re at least 13 years old.

While 2 years or 8 years may now be the minimums, we don’t parent by minimums, do we? Buying a high quality (not necessarily high cost!) seat to start, after you do all your research to choose the best seat for your child, can easily help you meet these recommendations.

Make sure you’re using the car seats correctly, too. There’s a lot of intricacies for both harnessed seats and boosters. When in doubt, find a Safe Kids inspection station or event and get checked out by a tech. And hopefully more and more pediatricians, with these new recommendations, will be on board as well, and we can maybe put an end to vehicle related-injuries being the number one cause of death in kids ages 2-14.

As read on: http://shine.yahoo.com/parenting/aaps-new-car-seat-guidelines-change-rear-facing-booster-rules-2466904.html

Ration Stamps & Bombers – WWII at Home Exhibit at the Plymouth Historical Museum

January 18 – June 17, 2012

The new exhibit at the Plymouth Historical Museum, “Ration Stamps & Bombers: WWII at Home,”  showcases how the lives of people in Plymouth and the Detroit area were affected by World War II. The enlightening exhibit features a collection of stories and items that pertain to several Plymouth residents who offered their services during the war, and details the contributions and sacrifices that they made for Plymouth and the country. The exhibit highlights items from the Museum’s World War II collection, and presents unique items that are on loan from other institutions, including items from the Michigan Military Museum and the Yankee Air Museum.

One item on display is a Norden bombsight on loan to the Museum from Burroughs. The bombsights were mechanical computers that calibrated the speed and altitude of the airplane bombers to ensure that the bombardiers more accurately hit their targets. The bombsites were manufactured by the Burroughs Corporation at its facility in Plymouth. The displays of ration stamps, uniforms, and war bond posters offer a historical view of how the community of Plymouth rallied to support the war effort. The exhibit will be on display at the Museum through Sunday, June 17, 2012. Admission is still only $5 for adults, $2 for children, and free for members. Hours are Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday 1-4 p.m.

Visit http://www.PlymouthHistory.org/exhibits for more details!

As read on: http://www.plymouthhistory.org/exhibits.html

Nissan LEAF Earns Highest Safety Rating From Federal Government

The Nissan Leaf earned a top five-star rating in the federal government’s new, tougher crash test rating system. Under the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s new rating system, all vehicles are given a single rating of one to five stars based on their scores in separate front and side impact tests as well as resistance to rollovers.

The Leaf earned four stars for occupant protection in front-end crashes, five stars for side crash protection and four stars for resistance to rolling over, resulting in the overall five-star score.

The Leaf is an electrically powered plug-in car. It can go about 70 miles on a charge, according to EPA estimates.

NHTSA used updated crash test regimen, introduced last year, which includes a new side crash test in which vehicles slide diagonally into a pole, mimicking a car skidding into a light post or tree.

General Motors’ Chevrolet Volt also recently earned a five-star NHTSA safety rating.

The Volt and the Nissan Leaf electric car were both recently given Top Safety Pick Awards by the privately funded Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The Institute, which is financed by auto insurers, conducts a different set of crash tests from those conducted by the government. To earn a Top Safety Pick Award, a vehicle must earn top scores in all of the Institute’s tests.

As read on: http://www.clickondetroit.com/money/28661540/detail.html?treets=det&taf=de