Cars will soon be getting a new safety feature to protect people involved in rollover crashes.
Yesterday the government announced it will require car manufacturers to “develop a countermeasure for light passenger vehicles under 10,000 lbs that prevents the equivalent of an unbelted adult from moving more than 4 inches past the side window opening in the event of a crash. The new standard will begin phasing in during 2013 -- all newly manufactured vehicles will be required to provide this protection by model year 2018.”
That likely means those side-impact air bag curtains will be made longer and inflate for a longer period of time.
"Rollover crashes are the deadliest of all crash types, and this is another important step in our efforts to reduce fatalities and serious injuries that result from them," said David Strickland, administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
When fully implemented by model year 2018, the new rule is expected to prevent an average of 373 deaths and 476 serious injuries every year, Strickland said. There were 8,267 deaths in rollover crashes in 2009.