New Old Fat Crash Test Dummies


Ingenieure des Center for Automotive Medicine in Michigan haben neue Crash Test Dummies entwickelt, die den Durchschnittskörper von heutigen Fahrern besser abbilden sollen: „a 273-pound obese dummy that is 106 pounds heavier than the traditional model and a prototype for an elderly dummy based on an overweight 70-year-old woman“.

The changes come years after Michigan Medicine trauma surgeon Stewart Wang, M.D., told car safety engineers that "crash-test dummies look nothing like my patients. You can't talk about injuries without talking about the person -- it's individuals who are hurt," says Wang, who is a sought-after collaborator on car safety as the director of the U-M International Center for Automotive Medicine (ICAM). "The condition, size and shape of an individual is hugely important in how severe their injuries are in any given crash."

For example, in frontal crashes, obese drivers tend to "submarine," or slide under the lap belt; their lower bodies are also poorly restrained because their lap belts have much more slack. As a result, they suffer more severe lower-extremity injuries at a much higher rate. Once they suffer such injuries, their obesity makes treatment more difficult and delays recovery. "The typical patient today is overweight or obese -- they're the rule rather than the exception," Wang says.

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