New regulations proposed by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) may mean that new vehicles will be fitted with side-curtain airbags by 2009.
NHTSA will set new side-impact crash standards that have separate standards for side-impact protection for more passengers in the vehicle. Most manufacturers will likely meet the new regulations by adding curtain airbags.
NHTSA claims that about 700 lives could be saved annually when the bags are in widespread use. The proposed change may become law by 2005.