In Brief: Life of a Crash Test Dummy

By Norman Chan

Destined to hit the wall.

You guys may know Buster from Jamie and Adam's day job, but what about the other test mannequins that are used in car crash tests? Reuters photographer Michael Dalder visited Germany's ADAC test facility, one organization certified by the European Road Assessment Program to conduct car crashes for safety assessment. Dalder's blog post about his visit--accompanied by fantastic photos--tells how the "routine" of crashing dummies is a complex procedure, requiring a full day of preparation for a 15-second test. I especially liked his anecdote about one technician applying make-up to the dummies--of which there are both adult and children versions--to show where the bodies make contact with the vehicle interior after impact. I've been fascinated by anthropomorphic test mannequins of late, and this Wikipedia page has a good primer on the history of their use. A tease as well: we have a really cool video about training mannequins coming up next week.