Like many elevator doors, this type of power window automatically retracts when it contacts an obstruction such as a hand or arm. Child safety advocates support automatic-reverse windows as an added measure to prevent power window-related injuries and deaths. This feature would prevent injuries that lever switches don't address, for example, when a driver is operating the switch and cannot see the rear seat passengers.
In February 2008, the Cameron Gulbransen Kids Transportation Safety Act of 2007 became law, directing NHTSA to consider amending the federal standard for power windows to require an automatic reverse feature that would be activated if the window's path is obstructed. In February 2011 NHTSA announced it would not pursue such a regulation.
The agency said serious and fatal injuries involving power windows already are being addressed by the rule requiring lever switches in all new vehicles. The remaining injuries are mostly minor and hard to quantify, NHTSA said. "Given our present understanding of the data about the nature, source, and number of power window injuries, we believe that there are very few fatalities or serious injuries that any additional requirements for ARS (automatic reversal systems) could mitigate or prevent. They would instead address primarily 'finger-pinch' type injuries."