New Crash Test Dummies Will Gain A Few Pounds To Better Reflect Fatalities Of Obese Drivers

Humanetics announced this week that it will begin making an obese crash test dummy.

Humanetics announced this week that it will begin making an obese crash test dummy.

We’ve all seen the dummies used in tests to determine if vehicles are safe before hitting the streets. Remember that picture, because the dummies are getting a makeover to better represent Americans’ growing waistlines.

CNN reports that one of the world’s largest makers of dummies will soon provide an obese model in order to help determine why larger consumers are more likely to die in a car crash.

The new obese dummy, which will weigh about 273 pound and have a body mass index of 35, will be used to measure seatbelt and airbag loads generated during crashes. Traditional crash test dummies weigh 167 pounds.

Christopher O’Connor, president and CEO of Humanetics, tells CNN that the larger dummies were created after reports found that obese people are 78% more likely to die in a crash.

“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.”

Officials with the Center for Injury Biometrics tell CNN that the idea behind the updated dummy is to do a better job of prediction injury.

O’Connor says a prototype of the new dummy has already been tested in Europe and are expected in the U.S. next year.

Are obese crash test dummies the key to preventing road deaths? [CNN]