In order to identify whether or not vehicles are appropriately designed for crashes for the average sized Americans, crash test dummies are getting a makeover. Two new models are believed to better reflect American society when it comes to determining how vehicles perform in car accidents.
One of these is a 273-pound obese dummy and one is an overweight 70-year-old female dummy designed to capture the large number of Americans who are older or obese. Doctors reported that crash test dummies frequently did not have much to do with actual patients because crash test dummies are frequently a much smaller size and in much better shape.
This means that car safety engineers were designing vehicle technology to prevent accidents without taking into account the average size or the varying sizes of the American population. The Centers for Disease Control has determined that anyone with a BMI of 30 or higher is obese so the obese dummy in the crash test will have a BMI of 35.
The older individual was designed to have a sagging chest as this is a common condition among older individuals in the United States. The University of California has previously published a study identifying that obese drivers are up to 70% more likely to suffer fatal injuries in car accidents. Those who do survive such an accident may also have unique injuries based on their size, prompting the new crash test dummies.