NHTSA regulations do not require specific technologies to meet its performance standards, but manufacturers would likely meet this upgraded rule with various types of innovative head, chest and pelvis protection systems, such as side airbags. Although more than half of 2004 model year cars and light trucks already provide optional head-protection airbags, it is not clear whether those bags can meet the new standards, particularly with the small stature dummy. NHTSA research showed that many current airbags tested in the new pole test could not save a child-sized dummy from sustaining nearly five times the maximum head injury, because the side curtains did not extend far enough down in the passenger cabin to protect the child's head.

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