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U.S. Transportation Secretary Slater Announces Final Specifications for Crash Dummy Representing Six-Year-Old Child

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government Topics:  Rodney E. Slater

U.S. Transportation Secretary Slater Announces Final Specifications for Crash Dummy Representing Six-Year-Old Child

NHTSA
January 13, 2000

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NHTSA 01-00
Thursday, January 13, 2000
Contact: NHTSA, Tim Hurd, (202) 366-9550

U.S. Transportation Secretary Rodney E. Slater today announced the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's final design and performance specifications for a new crash dummy that represents a 6-year-old child, one of the key steps in the development of pending advanced air bag rules.

"Safety is President Clinton's and Vice President Gore's highest transportation priority," Secretary Slater said. "These specifications for a child crash dummy will improve highway safety by helping to clear the way for the introduction of advanced air bags."

The advanced 6-year-old dummy is the first addition to the Hybrid III crash dummy family since the Hybrid III 50th percentile male dummy was adopted in June, 1986. Other "family" members will include a Hybrid III 5th percentile (small) female, a Hybrid III 3-year-old, and a 12-month-old CRABI (Child Restraint Air Bag Interaction) dummy -- all designed to assess injury potential for a range of occupant sizes. The specifications for the remaining dummies will be made final by early 2000.

"Completion of these new specifications is part of our comprehensive series of actions to preserve the benefits of air bags and minimize their risks to children and small stature adults," said NHTSA Acting Administrator Rosalyn Millman.

The 6-year-old Hybrid III dummy has been used for general research purposes for several years, but it must be certified for compliance testing to assure that occupant protection systems, such as air bags, provide adequate safety for restrained children and those who are unbuckled or out of position. While the existing Hybrid II 6-year-old dummy is useful for evaluating child restraints and boosters, it does not measure the injuries that unbelted or out-of-position children can suffer in some crashes in which air bags deploy.

The new Hybrid III 6-year-old dummy, for example, has a multi-segment and highly instrumented neck that better simulates human neck responses. Neck injuries are one of the main causes of child fatalities due to air bags. Similarly, the dummy is equipped with new multiple sensing capabilities to assess injury to the chest, lumbar spine, pelvis, and upper legs.

After extensive testing, NHTSA now is adding the Hybrid III 6-year-old dummy to Part 572 of the Code of Federal Regulations. Requiring the new dummy as part of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 208 will be addressed in NHTSA's advanced air bag final rule, due by March 1, 2000.

The final specifications for the Hybrid III 6-year-old dummy were posted today at the Federal Register and additional material, including drawings and procedures, has been placed in NHTSA's docket. For access to information about the specifications in the docket, go to http://www.nhtsa.gov/exit.cfm?link=http://dms.dot.gov/search/ and enter docket number NHTSA-99-6714.

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