Tip of the Week
More sophisticated restraint systems are needed in the back seat of vehicles, suggests a new Insurance Institute for Highway Safety study of frontal crashes in which belted rear-seat occupants were killed or seriously injured.
Drivers and front-seat passengers have benefited greatly from seat belts with crash tensioners and force limiters along with airbags which work together to keep a person in the proper position and manage forces on the body during a crash. Unfortunately, back-seat passengers haven’t benefited from this technology to the same extent.
Crash forces can cause a back-seat passenger to collide with the vehicle interior or their seat belts (which lack force limiters) can cause chest injuries.
The new study takes a closer look at the specific types of injuries belted back-seat passengers age 6 or older sustained in front crashes. In many of the 117 crashes studied, the back-seat passengers were injured more severely than the front-seat occupants, suggesting the restraints in the rear didn’t perform as well as the ones in the front.
However, IIHS isn’t prescribing a particular solution and is instead,using the information to develop a new front crash test that will evaluate occupant protection in the rear as well as the front. The Institute believes a crash test that evaluates rear-seat protection will prompt automakers to figure out what combination of technologies works best.
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General Motors is recalling more than 300,000 pickup trucks due to the risk of fire. The affected vehicles are equipped with the 6.6-liter Duramax diesel engine and the optional engine block heater. They include the 2019 Chevy Silverado 4500, 5500 and 6500, and the 2017-2019 Silverado 2500 and 3500, and GMC Sierra 2500 and 3500.
GM says that it has received 19 reports of the engine block heater or the block heater cord causing a fire in affected models.
Did you know
A few weeks ago, a federal appeals court ruled that marking car tires with chalk — a common parking enforcement practice — is unconstitutional, as it’s a violation of a person’s Fourth Amendment rights against unwarranted search and seizure.