First female crash test dummies
The US transportation department has announced it will start using female crash test dummies during safety testing.
Alongside new tests and taking injury data from new parts of the body including neck and legs the introduction of female crash test dummies is the biggest change to the US's driver safety regime in seven years.
The new dummies will be brought into service for the 2010 model year tests.
Female dummies have been used in basic compliance testing for years, but this is the first time they will be tested as part of the safety rating programme.
US Transportation secretary Mary Peters told the Washington Post: "The new ratings will improve passenger safety with challenging new tests and by looking at additional and improved injury data."
According to research by a university in Sweden, women drivers are three times more likely to receive whiplash injuries in a low speed collision than their male counterparts.
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