Principal Technical Analyst
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced last week that they will be using a newly developed "10 year old child" crash test dummy. According to NHTSA, this new crash test dummy was created so that boosters and child safety seats designed for children over 65 pounds could be tested in the most effective manner possible. Read the full press release dated 02/21/12.
The new dummy will allow NHTSA to assess the risk of injuries using head and knee excursions and chest acceleration. The expanded testing capabilities will also allow for the evaluation and certification of higher weight booster seats (designed for children weighing 65-80 pounds), in compliance with recent rule changes issued by NHTSA.
Currently NHTSA recommends that children be seated in a car seat with a harness (up to the specifications of the seat) until they are large enough to fit properly in a seat belt, which they say is generally when the child is between 8-12 years and about 4'9" tall. Read more about properly fitting seat belts for children ages 8-12 years.