Press Release Archives

Car Buyers Back New Mandates for Side Impact Safety

February 22, 2008

New survey results from consumer automotive web site indicates that the majority of buyers support the new National Highway Transport Safety Board, NHTSB, regulations that will make it mandatory for all U.S. vehicles to offer better protection in the event of side impact crashes by 2013.

Eighty-seven percent of those buyers surveyed believe the regulations will improve protection for occupants in the event of an accident.

The NHTSB has not demanded specific equipment to meet the new crash test requirements. But the new safety standards will force manufacturers to offer head and thorax protection in the event of a side impact crash. It is thought that most manufacturers will meet the new safety testing and requirements by making side curtain air bags standard on all their vehicles.

Twenty-eight percent of fatalities on American roadways are the result of side impacts. A majority of those fatal outcomes are linked to brain injuries from blows to the head during a crash. The NHTSA projects the new regulations will save over 300 lives and prevent over 400 brain and thorax injuries per year.

Despite these statistics, when buyers were asked if they would be looking for side curtain airbags in their next vehicle, only 48 percent said that they would be looking for them to be in both the front and rear seats. Another 29 percent said they would be looking for side airbags, but only in the front section of the vehicle.

Fifty-three percent of the sample admitted that their vehicles do not have side curtain airbags currently. So it seems the new regulations will, in time, dramatically increase the number of vehicles with the safety equipment installed and only raise the price of a new car less than $300.

The study sample of 1566 buyers was drawn from among the 55,000 visitors who use the web site’s online quote service each month. All respondents said that they were within 30 days of making a new car purchase.

The study was the latest in a series being conducted by the consumer and pricing advice web site in order to obtain the most current and comprehensive pictures of the habits and opinions of online car buyers.

For more information on this report or please contact the BuyingAdvice Insider Team.


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