What Does A Real Crash Test Dummy Look Like?

July 7, 2017

Crash test dummies are getting older and bigger --just like many Americans!

CNN says engineers at the company that manufactures the crash dummies are teaming up with the University of Michigan to create new models that look more like people who are packing on the pounds and getting up there in years. The company --Humanetics-- have created a new crash dummy that is obese --more than 270 pounds-- and another that is based on an overweight 70-year-old woman. The obese dummy is more than 100 pounds heavier than a typical crash-test dummy.

Differences in body type can mean different injuries in a car crash. Obese drivers, can "submarine" when in a frontal crash, meaning they slip underneath the lap belt. They sustain more severe lower-extremity injuries twice as frequently as those who are not overweight.

Those injuries are more costly to treat (collectively adding up to $2 to $4 billion dollars more per year) and can take much longer to heal. Growing older causes the shape of the chest to change, which causes 15 times more chest injuries in older patients. Those injuries are also more likely to be lethal to older patients.