The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has adopted a 10-year old.

Sitting 28 inches high, the new crash test dummy is designed to be the best size to test restraint and other systems that protect older children in a crash.

In order to “keep pace with the latest scientific research and child restraint system technologies” the NHTSA has adopted a rule requiring manufacturers of car seats to use a child-sized crash test dummy. The NHTSA announced the new addition in an article on its website. The new dummy will allow researchers to test the effectiveness of new restraint systems that protect children weighing more than 65 pounds.

Children who exceed the size and weight limits of a car seat should be placed in a booster or other restraint device until the size and weight limits of that device are exceeded — usually sometime between age eight to 12. During a crash test, the dummy approximates the size and movement of a 77 pound human body, representing a child midway between ages eight to 12 years old.

Sitting 28 inches high, the dummy is designed to be the best size to test restraint and other systems that protect older children in a crash. Seat and belt fit of the dummy is very similar to a child. Children sit lower than adult, and therefore are not adequately protected by the cross-chest safety belt used by adults.

Manufacturers of child restraint devices were consulted and provided feedback during the development of the new dummy. According to the NHTSA, “Commenters were very supportive of the idea of incorporating an ATD representing children in the 8- to 12-year-old age range.”

Legislation to require children to be placed in booster seats was first passed in 2001 in Washington State. “Anton’s Law” is named after a four year old child who died in a crash. Anton had outgrown his car seat and was belted in without a booster in the front passenger seat of the car. He was thrown from the car and killed when the vehicle rolled over him. His mother, journalist Autumn Alexander Skeen, is credited with raising awareness of the need to investigate the effectiveness of adult seat belts used on children. Skeen also worked to promote laws to require booster seats for older children.

For more, read a post on Ray LaHood’s blog Fast Lane.

For information about Utah Law, contact the Utah Department of Public Safety, Highway Safety Office at 801-957-8570, or visit the Highway Safety Website.

3 thoughts on “NEW CRASH DUMMY”

  1. Nasser D.

    I would like to share my experience about car seat.
    In 2005 my wife was in accident head to head with another car,my wife had our 3 month old son was in his car seat and bulked up,that saved his life and we are great full.
    Thank you

  2. Autumn Alexander Skeen

    Dear Mr. Nasser D.;
    If you tell 10 people in your lifetime what you just told this readership, each one of those people will tell about 10 people in their lifetimes, and so on. Good for you for being willing to share your experience. It is not easy.
    I am glad your child survived. Your child survived because someone else, probably bereft, long before either you or me, said, no, I will not let another child die senselessly when engineering can make belts work–somehow–for those too small to fend for themselves. Car companies could do so much more than they do, so everyone has to do what they can do.

  3. Mark V

    Requiring car seat manufacturers to use a child-size crash test dummy during testing of the seat will only improve the safety that the car seat offers.
    I am sure that many more childrens lives could be saved by testing car seats by using more realistic simulations.
    Lets hope that by also ensuring that parents are also correctly informed about how to use car seats correctly that the number of injuries and fatalities can be reduced.

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