NHTSA Added Crash Dummy to Assess Safety Seats for Heavier Children image

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s family of test dummies has recently welcomed a new member, a crash-test dummy designed to resemble a 10-year-old child. It will be used to evaluate child safety seats and boosters made for children weighing more than 65 pounds.

Over the past 10 years NHTSA has encouraged parents to use a booster seat for younger children, which has helped virtually eliminate deaths caused by airbag-induced injuries. In 2008 only one child died from airbag-induced injuries in the United States, and no adult, compared to 197 when 53 people died, including 31 children.

“It’s good news that manufacturers are making more car seats and boosters than ever before designed to keep older and heavier children safer on our roadways,” Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said in the statement. “As the marketplace evolves to accommodate changing consumer needs, it’s important that safety regulators also have the best tools possible for evaluating how well these products work.”

On Tuesday, 21st February, NHTSA issued the final rule that amends the federal child safety seat standard to include car seats and boosters specified for children weighing more than 65 pounds and as much as 80 pounds. Manufacturers have 2 years to certify their higher-weight car seats and boosters to meet the new requirements.