Monday, March 14, 2011

NHTSA Still Needs Crash Test Dummies for Children

The Washington Post reported on NHTSA's difficulties in developing crash-test dummies that will allow it to set safety standards for car seats and booster seats intended for children over 65 pounds. At present those seats "are not held to any government safety requirements."  Problems with developing child dummies are a "key reason why seats for all children have no federal requirements for effectiveness in side-impact, rear-end and rollover collisions." NHTSA Deputy Administrator Ronald Medford said that "NHTSA tests 75 to 90 models each year." The Post notes that under federal law, "a dummy to mimic a 10-year-old's body was supposed to be developed by late 2004," but "is still in development." And "Medford said the NHTSA hopes to have safety standards for higher-weight seats finalized this year and the dummy's flaws corrected in 2013." One expert said that "'NHTSA doesn't have the money to fund all the research we need' to develop accurate dummies."

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