Ford is designing a new type of crash test dummy to better represent kids

DEARBORN, Mich. (WXYZ) - Ford Motor Company is using the virtual world to make the real world safer for children.

The company says it is working on a child sized virtual crash test dummy. Ford already developed the first adult sized virtual dummy and is using it in safety tests.

"Children are not just little adults" said Ford safety engineer Dr. Steve Rouhana. Children's heads are proportionately much larger and their necks muscles are weaker than adults.

Regular child dummies played a key role in the development of the first ever inflatable safety belt, now available on the new Explorer.

"Our goal is to improve our restraint system, so more children go home rather than the hospital," says Rouhana.

It took Ford 11 years to develop the adult version. It will be a few years before the child version is completed.

The new dummy is expected to speed up Ford's development of safety systems.

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