New Crash Test Dummies Developed to Reflect Obese Driver Fatalities

Obese Crash Test DummiesIn addition to existing crash test dummies, a new obese crash test dummy, weighing 273 pounds with a body mass index of 35, will now also be used for to measure airbag loads and seat belt effectiveness. By comparison, a normal-sized crash test dummy weighs only 167 pounds. Officials at the Center for Injury Biometrics stated to CNN that the idea backing the updated dummy version is to better predict auto accident injuries.

CNN also reported that Humanetics, one of the world’s largest makers of crash test dummies, will soon provide an obese model in order to help determine why larger vehicle occupants are more likely to die in a car crash. Christopher O’Connor, president and CEO of Humanetics, stated in an interview with CNN, “The reason is the way we get fat,” he says. “We get fat in our middle range. And we get out of position in a typical seat.”

A recent report from the National Center for Biotechnology Information examined the role of body mass index (BMI) and other factors in driver deaths in motor vehicle crashes. The research found that obese, male drivers have a substantially increased risk of death due to motor vehicle crashes, especially at high speeds. The findings may have important implications for developing safer vehicles in the future.

The report found a 0.87% fatality rate among male drivers and 0.43% rate among female drivers in motor vehicle crashes. The report notes a strong association between BMI and male fatalities.

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