Crash-test dummies are older as well as fatter — just like many Americans

Story highlights

  • The engineers at Humanetics, which manufactures crash-test dummies, teamed up which has a University of Michigan doctor
  • They made two completely new crash-test dummies to reflect an aging as well as obese population

Engineers at Humanetics, a company in which manufactures crash-test dummies, teamed up with University of Michigan trauma surgeon Stewart Wang to create completely new dummies in which have put on some pounds as well as carry the effects of advancing years.

Humanetics crafted two completely new dummies: an obese dummy in which weighs 273 pounds, as well as a dummy in which is actually based on an overweight 70-year-old woman. The obese dummy is actually more than 100 pounds heavier than a normal crash-test dummy.

“The typical patient today is actually overweight or obese — they’re the rule rather than the exception. You can’t talk about injuries without talking about the person,” Wang, director of the University of Michigan International Center for Automotive Medicine (ICAM), said in a statement. The ICAM team helped create the completely new dummies by choosing 6,000 computerized scans by a national database to provide appropriate averages to the Humanetics team, as well as the data was used in 3-D printing of the dummy prototypes.

Dr. Stewart Wang demonstrates how to secure an "elderly" crash-test dummy.

“The population is actually getting older, as well as as the idea gets older the idea gets fatter as well,” Wang said. in which’s why ICAM gathered data by the largest population ever, according to Wang.

Differences in body type can mean different injuries, according to Wang.

The completely new obese crash-test dummy (left) sits beside an older, normal-sized dummy.

Obese drivers, for example, can “submarine” when in a frontal crash, meaning they slip underneath the lap belt. They sustain much more severe lower-extremity injuries twice as frequently as those who are not overweight. In addition, Wang estimates in which drivers who suffer specifically by these injuries collectively spend $2 billion to $4 billion a year on medical bills. Since their injuries take longer to heal because of the increased weight put onto recuperating bones as well as tissue, the medical bills associated with those injuries can skyrocket.

In addition, growing older causes the shape of the chest to change, which causes the rate of chest injuries to boost by 15-fold. The completely new elderly dummy features a redesigned chest, which sags to mimic elderly drivers. the idea also features a weight distribution in which is actually shifted downwards, as well as the spine is actually more curved. Elderly drivers often sustain chest-wall injuries because of the shape of the chest. Those injuries are particularly lethal because of victims’ advanced age.

Chris O’Connor, president as well as chief executive officer at Humanetics, based in Plymouth, Michigan, said: “Few would likely have envisioned in which people would likely drive into their 80s … As the population adjustments, we must have test equipment in which resembles consumers today.”

Crash-test dummies are older as well as fatter — just like many Americans

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