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A committed research effort in understanding and improving child occupant protection in motor vehicles has been ongoing at NHTSA for many years. A renewed emphasis on child safety is underway as data show that motor vehicle crashes are the primary cause of death for children 4 and older. Currently, NHTSA has been conducting research on the protection of children in side impact crashes. Much of that research has focussed on the protection offered by child restraint systems (CRS). Additional research efforts are underway investigating the injuries resulting from rear interior components and surfaces to determine whether there is a need to increase the protection of rear-seat occupants.

Since children 12-years-old and younger represent more than half of the rear seat occupant population, NHTSA has also begun conducting research on protecting large children in the rear seat that use booster seats and seat belts. NHTSA is looking more closely at rear seat geometries, seat belt fit and other aspects related to the rear seat environment as applicable to older children.
  • 3D Drawings of the proposed LATCH Usability Tools (Autodesk Inventor, Size 10.3 MB - zipped) May 2015

On the January 23, 2015 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, NHTSA proposed three LATCH Usability Tools to evaluate the ease of use of the lower anchors of the LATCH system. Download the technical drawings of the proposed LATCH Usability Tools [Note: Opening Inventor files with other software may result in loss of some data]

NHTSA has been working towards upgrading the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 213, “Child restraint systems,” standard frontal seat assembly to better represent a vehicle’s rear seat. Download the preliminary technical drawings of the upgraded standard frontal seat assembly to evaluate child restraint systems in a frontal crash. Drawings are subject to change.

Download the technical drawings of the standard seat assembly and the side impact sled proposed for inclusion into FMVSS No. 213, "Child restraint systems."


U.S. Department of Transportation National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590
1-800-424-9153 (TTY)