Entrepreneur, Explorer, Angel.
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14TH March 2023
Culture - Health
Did anyone ask what the Dummies think?
Crash test dummies have been a critical tool in ensuring the safety of vehicles for many years. They provide vital information on the impact of crashes on the human body and help car manufacturers design safer vehicles. But did you know that crash test dummies were not always designed with diversity in mind?
I wonder who among them spoke up first.
For a long time, the typical crash test dummy was designed to represent an average male, with a weight of around 170 pounds and a height of around 5’9″. This design choice was based on data suggesting that men were more likely to be involved in car crashes, and therefore, their bodies were the best representation of the average crash victim.
Big Art, my dad drove the Vista Cruiser in the grass median, usually during a nap, but never over the speed limit. We were always careful to wake him gradually, lest he jerk the wheel into the other lane.
However, as we know, people come in all shapes, sizes, and genders. With this in mind, it’s clear that a one-size-fits-all approach to crash test dummies is not enough to truly ensure the safety of all individuals. In recent years, there has been a push to create more diverse crash test dummies, representing a wider range of ages, genders, and body types.
The call for diversity in crash test dummies has gained momentum in recent years, with organizations such as the Center for Injury Research and Prevention at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the University of Virginia’s Center for Applied Biomechanics working on developing new and improved dummies. These dummies represent a wider range of body types, including those of women, children, and seniors, to better reflect the diversity of individuals on the road.
The push for diversity in crash test dummies is not just about representation, but also about safety. By designing dummies that represent a wider range of individuals, car manufacturers can create vehicles that are safer for all passengers, not just the average male. Of course, the process of designing diverse crash test dummies is not without its challenges. It requires extensive research and testing to ensure that the dummies accurately represent a wide range of individuals and are effective in measuring the impact of crashes. It also requires a commitment from car manufacturers to use these diverse dummies in their testing and design processes.
As we continue to push for greater diversity and inclusion in all areas of our society, it’s important that we don’t forget about the safety of those around us.
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