The U.S. Transportation Department has announced that it will now require automakers to use smaller, “female” crash-test dummies in safety tests.
Until now, the government required automakers to test their cars using only dummies that resembled adult males. Last year, 105 people were killed by inflatable air bags. Most of those killed were small women and children, whose body size and composition bore little resemblance to the crash-test dummies used in safety tests.
Transportation Secretary Rodney Slater said that the new dummies are part of “a comprehensive series of efforts to preserve the benefits of air bags and minimize their risks, in this case to small women.”