As Overweight Drivers Become Norm, Not Exception, Crash Test Dummies Are Adjusted
The size and shape of a driver effect how he or she will be injured in a car crash. In frontal crashes, for instance, obese drivers tend to “submarine,” or slide under the lap belt.
Crash Test Dummies Get Bigger To Reflect American Body Types
In an effort to more accurately reflect the U.S. car-driving population, at least one manufacturer is making crash-test dummies – the pretend people used to test automobile safety features – bigger and older. “The typical patient today is overweight or obese – they’re the rule rather than the exception,” said Dr. Stewart Wang, director of the University of Michigan International Center for Automotive Medicine, in a statement. “You can’t talk about injuries without talking about the person.” The new crash-test models include a 273-pound dummy, more than 100 pounds heavier than normal, as well as a prototype based on an overweight 70-year-old woman. (Buck, 2/6)