Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards
This document denies a petition for rulemaking, submitted by Ms. Scheryn Bennett, requesting that the National Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) require every vehicle to be equipped with an emergency glass breaking tool. The data available to the agency shows there is a great deal of uncertainty surrounding the actual number of occupants that may have died due solely to drowning while trapped in an immersed vehicle. The potential effectiveness of such a tool to successfully aid an occupant's safe exit from an immersed vehicle is also not known. In the absence of a requirement that each vehicle have a glass breaking tool, nothing prevents vehicle manufacturers from providing a tool or other means to allow vehicle evacuation during immersion. Additionally, consumers can purchase their own tool and locate it in the vehicle where they would be likely to access it in an emergency.