Auto Industry Voluntarily Agrees to New Safety Standards

The auto industry is vowing to make changes to improve the safety of car riders involved in crashes with SUV's and light trucks.

The voluntary agreement calls for design changes, including installing more side-impact air bags and lowering the fronts of SUV's so there's less of a height difference when they're involved in crashes with passenger cars.

Insurance Institute for Highway Safety President Brian O'Neill says the enhancements should reduce the injury risks to car occupants by 40 percent when they're hit from the side by light trucks.

He says in head-on collisions, the changes may cut the injury risk by as much as 28 percent.

The auto industry says the changes will be phased in between 2007 and 2009.

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