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How Crash-Test Dummies Work

Crash-test dummies have been appearing in advertisements on television for a couple of decades; most people have seen them at some time, either on commercials for automobile manufacturers or public service announcements for various safety issues. What people may not really know is the difference between a crash-test dummy and, to use an example, the mannequin that your clothing retailer at the mall uses to model the current fashions for the season. Crash-test dummies have been adapted and updated over the years to reflect new technologies, and to improve the knowledge that we can garner from their use. THOR, the model most commonly in current use, integrates some fascinating technology into the design; making it more human-like and therefore more useful than ever before.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) uses THOR to evaluate several different vehicle safety systems for head-on and side-impact collisions. THOR is intended to react to impact situation as much as possible like a human body, but also to allow researchers to observe specific details of that reaction after the fact. In simple words, THOR not only reacts like a human body, but it also records data about those responses. Researchers are then able to utilize this data to:

  • Measure the interaction between the seat belt and air bag
  • Determine the effects of different types of collisions on various body systems, including the head, spine, and commonly injured joints such as the ankle and wrist
  • Assess the impact of air bags and seat belts on injury prevention to the abdomen
  • Measure the effectiveness of various restraint systems given different seating positions
  • Maximize the potential of “smart” restraint systems to prevent injury

With all of the data provided by THOR, researchers are able to maximize the ability of different restraints to work together as a system to protect vehicle occupants. They are also able to make some determinations about some behaviors within the vehicle that may jeopardize safety in the event of a car crash. This information can be used in turn to help engineers design safer cars in the future. In short, THOR has the ability to save many lives. Unfortunately, even THOR cannot eliminate the problem of car accidents altogether; there will always be people injured in auto crashes. If you or a member of your family have been injured in an car accident, contact a Denver car accident lawyer today to discuss your options.

The Denver personal injury attorneys at The Law Firm of Fuicelli and Lee are committed to providing the highest level of personal service, and to aggressively protecting your legal rights with honesty and integrity. They believe that when you need to speak with your attorney, you should be able to speak with your attorney, and not an assistant. Keith Fuicelli is an experienced attorney who also knows firsthand how difficult and stressful it can be to recover from a serious car accident injury. For more information and a FREE CONSULTATION, contact Fuicelli and Lee, PC at (303) 355-7202.



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