USA Today reports that engineers at Ford Motor Company have begun creating a child-sized digital model to give them a better understanding of what occurs to a child’s body in a car accident, and how accident forces affect children differently than adults.
To build the digital child model, researchers are using MRIs from children to recreate a child’s internal organs, bone structure, and brain. Adult digital models were used starting in 2004 and took over 10 years to create. In contrast to crash-test dummies, digital models are specifically used to develop the safety restraint system, while crash-test dummies are used to measure accident forces in actual crash testing. Ford hopes that the digital child model will help the company design vehicles that offer younger passengers better protection in the event of a crash.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death for children between the ages of three and 14 in the United States. In 2008, the NHTSA reports that 968 children age 14-years-old and younger were killed in motor vehicle accidents in which they were vehicle occupants. This accounted for approximately three percent of the 37, 261 total traffic accident fatalities that year. An additional 168,000 from this age group were injured in traffic accidents in which they were vehicle occupants, accounting for about eight percent of the total traffic accident vehicle occupant injuries. On average, these statistics result in four children, age 14-years-old and younger, killed and 529 injured in motor vehicle accidents nationwide in 2008.
All vehicle manufacturers have a legal duty to design, create, and sell vehicles that offer occupants a vehicle that is exceptionally safe and not poorly designed or defective. At Anapol Weiss, our Philadelphia automobile crashworthiness lawyers have successfully aided clients who have been injured by a wide variety of vehicle design defects, including car seat failure, defective air bags, faulty tires, and more. To learn how our attorneys can help you receive compensation from a negligent manufacturer, call 1-866-735-2792 today.