Obese crash test dummy introduced
Crash test dummy maker, Humaetics, has produced an obese crash test dummy to “make cars safer for everyone”.
CRASH TEST DUMMY manufacturer, Humanetics, has announced it has begun developing obese and elderly crash test dummies. According to Humanetics’ president and CEO, Christopher J O’Connor, obese occupants were 78% more likely to die in a car accident than an average weight driver, while elderly patients over the age of 80 were 40% more likely to die in a low-speed accident.
O’Connor said that car safety systems were being designed for average age, weight and height passengers and that “we need to find a way of making cars safer for everyone, regardless of size”.
“Having a body mass index (BMW) of 35-39 increases your risk of death by 51%,” O’Connor said. “We are working on an obese crash test dummy that weighs 123kg and is capable of measuring belt and airbag loads generated from heavier occupants during crash events. The initial prototype dummy was made available in August 2014 for sled evaluations.”
According to O’Conner seat belts, air bags and other safety features are designed for thinner people and don’t fit heavier people the same way.
“Typically you want someone in a very tight position with their rear against the back of the seat and the seat belt tight to the pelvis,” O’Conner explained. “An obese person has more mass around midsection and a larger rear which pushes them out of position. They sit further forward and the belt does not grasp the pelvis as easily.”
The company has also introduced an elderly dummy because, “Elderly occupants are statistically more likely to be seriously injured in any given accident and sustain injuries and die in low-impact crashes than younger occupants”.
Both the obese and elderly crash test dummies will continue their evaluation this year and be available for use around the world sometime in 2015.