Crash test dummies are getting fatter

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Crash test dummies are getting larger, in keeping with America's expanding waistline.

The University of Michigan is testing the impact of car crashes on dummies that closer represent the average American – i.e. fatter and older.

Working with manufacturer Humanetics, the university has developed two new dummies.
One is a 124kg-pound male – 48kg heavier than a traditional crash test dummy.

The second is based on a 70-year-old woman.

Part of the reasoning behind these tests is that according to researchers at the University of California, obese drivers are 78 per cent more likely to die in a car accident than their healthier counterparts.

The dummies developers hope that data from these new tests will allow manufacturers to make safer vehicles for the average person.