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Crash Test Dummies Not Fat Enough for Today's Drivers

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Here is your average crash test dummy:

Lean, svelte, and are those pecs and washboard abs I see? Those who have bodies like that tend to have drivers of their own. Realistically, they should be seated in the back of Lincoln Town Cars or stretch limos during the tests.

In other words, these high-impact mannequins don't accurately reflect your average person behind the wheel, and medical experts have taken notice.

According to the Daily Mail, a recent study conducted at the University at Buffalo and Erie County Medical Center showed that drivers who are moderately obese have a 21% increased risk of death in a crash. Worse yet, the morbidly obese have a 56% increased risk of not surviving a crash.

With statistics like those, researchers believe it would be incumbent upon car manufacturers to use "bigger-boned" crash test dummies to fine tune existing automobile designs.

Dr. Dietrich Jehle -- lead author to the published study -- said, "Crash test dummies have saved lives and provided invaluable data on how human bodies react to crashes, but they are designed to represent normal-weight individuals." He added, "If they represented our overweight American society, there could be further improvements in vehicle design that could decrease mortality."

Of the design schemes gleaned from tubby dummies, Dr. Jehle claimed expanding the space between the front seat and steering column could save lives -- even recommending overweight individuals to buy larger cars for the safety.

And considering America's obesity rate, we may have a surefire way of saving the automobile industry.
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