Archive for the ‘Crash Test Dummies’ Category

Just hanging around

November 16, 2007

It’s an indication of one’s ignorance to say that all crash test dummies look the same. It’s easy to tell the difference when you get to know them . For example, the suspended one (below) has specially modified hips which allow it to sit upright on a train seat. Yes, there are indeed experiments where trains are crashed to see how they can be made safer, and the experts at TRL (the Transport Research Laboratory) know exactly how to prepare the dummies to extract the right information.

The hanging man from

The keen-eyed will notice that the two dummies in the background also look a little different. They once held down good jobs as motorcycle crash test dummies. However, they got knocked about so much that they don’t cut the mustard any more. Today they are merely “make-weights” – strapped into vehicles that need a full complement of inert passengers for a realistic crash test.

The lesson is clear. Don’t judge a dummy by its looks. Take a little time and get to know it. You may be surprised by how much you have in common.



October 8, 2007

At last, you may be thinking, just what I expected to see on a blog dedicated to dummies – a crash test dummy. Well, yes it is, but we do try to be unpredictable so it’s not your ordinary run of the mill, mindless serial impact victim.

This is, we believe, unique. It’s the only pregnant crash test dummy in the world. This immaculate model was conceived from a passion to understand how car seat belts might be redesigned to give better protection to expectant mothers. It’s surprising that nobody had considered improving the safety of pregnant women in cars before.

Standard belts can be uncomfortable when you’ve got a bump with a baby inside so some women choose not to strap in at all, increasing their risk of injury at a time when they really want to be even safer. So this female has a water-filled container inserted above her pelvis to mimic the foetus. Then she is accelerated up to 50 mph (80 kph) and brought to a sudden halt, just to see which kinds of belts work best.

Pregnant dummy from