A crash test dummy that simulates a 10-year-old, complete with a slouch, was displayed at the Society of Automotive Engineers 2003 World Congress in Detroit this month.

A crash test dummy that simulates a 10-year-old, complete with a slouch, was displayed at the Society of Automotive Engineers 2003 World Congress in Detroit this month.

reported that the Hybrid III 10-year-old child has a fully flexible spine similar to the slouching, foot-dangling posture favoured by pre-teen children.

"The problem is that kids do not fit in the seat like an adult," says Darrin Rankin, anthropomorphic test device co-ordinator for First Technology Safety Systems. "In an accident, the seat belts pull differently on their laps or across their necks. That isn't good."

Manufacturers already have a wide range of dummies, from smaller female dummies, infant dummies, toddler dummies, newborn dummies, dummies to measure side impacts and pedestrian dummies. But there was a gap in six-year-old to roughly 14-year-old category.

Also on display was the talking child safety seat. The Tattle Tale, designed by New Lenox Baby Products, tells the driver if the seat isn't buckled in properly or if it is about to tip over. The company decided to look at making the seat after research showed that consumers had problems installing baby seats properly.

The seat shouts out warnings if the baby is not fastened properly or if the seat is loose.

"A child seat cannot protect a child if it is improperly installed," Mike Barnes, founder and president of New Lenox, said. "Our product was designed to prevent that kind of problem."

"It's our experience that people seem to respond better to audible instructions to install things like a car seat than to written instructions," said Greg Shepherd, an engineer with New Lenox.

Original article from Car