trying to make air bags safe for all
There is growing evidence that airbags can cause serious or even fatal injuries to children and small adults for all benefit.
After a slow approach to the issue, federal officials are now scrambling to implement the new rules.
The rules are a humbling retreat for Washington\'s regulators, who for years have rejected criticism from the outside world and are proud of their airbag standards.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration put forward some rules last week that will remove the fatal impact from the airbag, which expands during the collision and should be for passengers before they hit anything inside the vehicle.
Although the safety authority so far believes that airbags have saved 1,700 lives, it now acknowledges that children and small adults are in clear danger.
Ricardo Martinez, NHTSA administrator, said: \"airbags have saved more than 1,700 lives, but we can and will do more to minimize their potential dangers.
* In fact, the death of more than 30 children and 20 adults is partly attributed to the explosive power of the airbag.
Particularly vulnerable are the occupants of baby and child seats, as well as many of the little adults who are uniformed by bags.
Clarence Ditlow said the bigger problem is clearly that the federal security regulator has lost this: the security devices should not kill people, even if they save lives more than they take away, Ralph Nader, director of the car safety center-
Set up a group in WashingtonC.
Death of any child
Caused by air bags]
\"Under the proposed rules, future models will allow automakers to reduce the deployment pressure within the airbag by 20% to 35%, reducing the risk of small passengers, but still providing protection for others.
In the event of written authorization from the customer, the government will also allow the distributor and the detached garage to disable the airbag.
So far, federal approval is required to disable airbags.
At the same time, for millions of car owners with existing airbags, federal regulators have issued a warning that children under the age of 12 should be sitting in the back seat of the car, the baby transport truck should not be placed in the front row.
Apparently, these federal regulators have never dealt with the distracting commotion that two or three children can create together in the back seat.
Obviously, these suggestions are impractical for many families and impossible for big families.
* Critics have been clamoring since the 1980 s because sensors will disable airbags unless the seat is occupied by passengers with a specified minimum weight. Mercedes-
The Mercedes-Benz now uses the sensor, says Mr. Ditlow.
The airbag is not the only safety item that can be seen for a second time.
A recent study by the industry group highway safety insurance Association found that
Cars without lock brakes are more likely to have fatal accidents than cars without lock brakes.
Brian O\'Neill, president of the organization, said the government needed to conduct a study quickly to determine why these security devices did not meet expectations.
As far as the airbag is concerned, the NHTSA plan is finally so-
Known as an intelligent airbag, the explosive force of the airbag can be adjusted to match the weight of the passenger.
Individuals who would like to comment on the proposed new airbag rule are due to be in February. 5;
Address comments on NHTSA, Technical Reference Division 400S. W.
Washington, DC 20590.
* Ralph Vartabedian can\'t reply to the email in person, but will try to answer car questions that are of interest to everyone in this column.
Write to your wheel, 1875 I St. N. W. No.
Washington, DC 1100 or e-20006mail to Ralph.
Vartabedian @ latimes. com.