2010 model cars will face new crash rating

July 9, 2008 at 3:52 PM
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WASHINGTON, July 9 (UPI) -- The U.S. Department of Transportation said it will stop using a 30-year-old crash test rating system and put a new crash test dummy to work.

Transportation Department Secretary Mary Peters announced that staring with 2010 model year cars, crash tests will include using a dummy to help research knee, hip and thigh injuries suffered with frontal collisions, The Detroit News reported.

Future tests will also include a smaller dummy in the front passenger seat.

"Smaller females were at greater risk and more likely to be seated in the right front position," the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said.

In addition, the department will add a side impact pole test meant to simulate the side of a car smashing into a tree or a utility pole.

The new rating system will combine scores in various crash tests to end up with a top score of five stars, the News reported.

Using 2007 model cars, more than 95 percent of vehicles tested would receive four or five starts in frontal and side crash tests, a considerable improvement from 1979 when less than 30 percent would have obtained those scores, the News reported.

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