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 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.