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Crash Test Dummies Changing

If you are one who watches videos on the news about car crash test dummies, you might have thought that you don’t know many people who look like the dummies. You are not alone! Thousands of people are killed in car crashes in the U.S. every year. Many of the injured or killed do not look like the crash test dummies.

Crash Test Dummies Changing - Altizer Law

Humanetics crash test dummies
Photo: Bryan McCullough/Michigan Medicine

Physicians who analyze car crashes and those who make crash test dummies have also noticed that the dummies are atypical. They have also observed that people of different ages often suffer different injuries when involved in a crash. Persons who are obese or overweight typically sustain mostly lower body injuries when in a crash because the lap portion of the seatbelt is loose. The reaction in a crash is that they tend to slide under the seat belt. The difference in bone strength between 20-somethings and 80 year-olds explains the difference in the likelihood of chest injuries.

A team of trauma doctors and technicians at the University of Michigan study hundreds of CT Scans each year and analyze the injuries in an effort to make cars safer. They have observed that American drivers are becoming older and fatter. Trauma surgeon Stewart Wang, M.D., who is also the director of the University Michigan International Center for Automotive Medicine (ICAM) was recently quoted in the Insurance Journal: “You can’t talk about injuries without talking about the person – individuals who are hurt.”

The result of the research and testing is production of new crash test dummies. One of the dummies reflects a person weighing 273 pounds. This is an increase of 106 pounds over the last dummies. Another new dummy is a prototype of an overweight 70-year-old woman.

It is reassuring to know that research is keeping up with changes in the population. We can expect improvements in automobile safety features in the coming years. These changes might reduce the fatality rate from car crashes.

If you have been injured in a car crash that was not your fault you may be entitled to justice and an appropriate cash settlement. Altizer Law, P.C., helps car crash victims every day.