Washington, D.C. – The U.S. government has announced a new law that will require automakers to develop countermeasures to prevent unbelted adults from being ejected from their vehicles during a crash. The final ruling, announced yesterday, will begin phasing in in 2013 and will require all new vehicles under 10,000 pounds (4,535 kg) to be so equipped by 2018.

The vehicle must be able to prevent the equivalent of an unbelted adult from moving more than four inches (10 cm) past the side window opening in the event of a crash.

“Rollover crashes are the deadliest of all crash types and this is another important step in our efforts to reduce fatalities and serious injuries that result from them,” said David Strickland, administrator for NHTSA. “When fully implemented, we believe this standard will prevent on average 373 fatalities and 476 serious injuries every year.”

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