Auto Windows Pose Dangers To Children

The serious injury lawyers at Finch McCranie LLP handle many automobile related cases. A significant number of these involve product defects. One such defect that has remained under publicized is the threat posed by power windows to children.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, NHTSA, estimates there are 1,995 injuries and six deaths a year related to power windows.
A consumer protection group, Kids And Cars, is calling upon NHTSA to require all automobile makers to equip vehicles with automatic reverse features so that a window will automatically stop and reverse when it hits an obstruction while closing. This is similar to the auto-reverse features found on almost all garage doors.
NHTSA says in various regulatory documents that several new safety requirements involving power windows show it is doing a good job tackling what it describes as a small, but persistent problem. However, Kids And Cars, says that NHTSA is seriously underestimating the problem based upon data that the group has obtained. It says that the method used by NHTSA to track the problem is seriously flawed in that it does not account for many private physician visits.
But, both NHTSA and Kids And Cars agree that on average five children a year die from power-window accidents.
NHTSA has taken steps to require automakers to make power windows safer. Starting on Oct. 1, 2008, all passenger vehicles must have power switches that are recessed, thereby reducing the chance that a child could close a window by leaning on the switch. By Oct. 1, 2010, power windows may be closed only by pulling up on a switch.
NHTSA is also being required by law to consider whether to require an auto-reverse feature on all power windows. The agency has looked at several alternatives and reports that it has concluded for the time being that auto reverse is not needed on all power windows. It is considering a requirement that auto-reverse be installed on one-touch or express-up switches.
Regardless of the decision that NHTSA reaches, all adults should be extremely vigilant when children are in a vehicle to insure that they cannot be injured by a power window.

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