In our second article depicting the ins and outs of the Insurance Institute
for Highway Safety, we are taking a closer look at the crash test dummies
used at the Vehicle Research Center. The IIHS performs numerous crash
tests on vehicles and in almost every crash, a test dummy is required.
These crash test dummies work by depicting exactly what would happen to
a human if they were involved in a similar automobile accident.
The IIHS employs a specific person just to ensure that all crash test dummies
are calibrated and ready for testing. This person is the Dummy Calibration
Lab Manager. The general idea behind a calibration is to ensure that dummies
used at the Institute will react in the same way as a dummy used in other
test labs. It also provides repeatability from test to test and ensures
they will react the same as a human in car wrecks. The calibration test
consists of head drops, thorax impacts, knee impacts, and rear impacts.
Because no single crash test dummy is able to be used in all crash tests,
the IIHS uses three types of dummies: frontal impact dummies, side impact
dummies, and rear impact dummies. There are also different sizes, ranging
from a six-month-old infant to a 95
th percentile male. The 95
th percentile male crash test dummy is larger than 95% of the population.
The VRC’s work horse is the Hybrid III 50
th percentile male crash test dummy. He stands 5’10” tall and
his weight is 172 pounds. He is used in the frontal test programs. The
test dummy that used for rear impact testing is called BioRID. He has
articulating vertebrae. The BioRID dummy reacts very much like a human
and is more suited for rear impact testing than the standard frontal impact
dummy. Finally, the SID-IIs is a 5
th percentile female dummy used for side impact testing. It is the size of
an average 12-year-old child.
Each crash test dummy used by the IIHS has from 20-40 different sensors
within the dummy. These sensors measure forces on and acceleration of
body parts, as well as the movement of ribs and deformation of the dummy’s
chest. Once fully instrumented, these crash test dummies approach $200,000
in value. Engineers are able to use these measurements to determine how
an actual human would be injured in a crash.
The IIHS also uses makeup, or greasepaint, on the dummies. This paint is
applied to the crash dummy’s hands, knees, face, and shins prior
to a crash test. This allows for points of contact to be determined on
the vehicle’s dashboard, doorframe, airbags, and other parts.
Each of the steps taken by the IIHS to measure safety of a vehicle is important.
As Marietta auto accident attorneys, we feel that vehicle and crash test
dummy testing it is vital to the increased safety of Georgia car wreck victims.
If you or a loved one have been injured in a Georgia auto accident, contact the
car wreck lawyers at Jones & Swanson today for a free case evaluation at (770) 427-5498.