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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Obese test dummies

Nobody can accuse the Americans of pulling their weight, at least not when it comes to vehicle safety.

The Daily Mail reports that are packing on the pounds to better reflect the expanding waistlines and larger rear ends of many Americans:

Manufacturer Humanetics has developed the new model after studies found that obese drivers are 78 percent more likely to die in a car crash.

Dummies have traditionally been modeled on a person weighing about 167 pounds with a healthy body mass index.

The new super-sized dummies are based on the measurements of a 273-pound person with a BMI of 35. 

A BMI of over 30 is considered morbidly obese by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Seat belts, air bags and other safety features have all been designed for thinner people and don’t fit larger people in the same way,

Chris O' Connor, CEO of Humanetics, told ABC. Typically you want someone in a very tight position with their rear against the back of the seat and the seat belt tight to the pelvis,’ he said. An obese person has more mass around midsection and a larger rear which pushes them out of position. They sit further forward and the belt does not grasp the pelvis as easily.’

A similar conclusion was reached in a 2010 study from the University at Buffalo and Erie County Medical Center.

A sign of the times?
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