Automotive safety equipment is vigorously tested to ensure proper function before being released on the market. But are safety testing standards eeping motorists from being injured or killed? Mark Skolrood, a Roanoke car accident lawyer with Skolrood Law Firm, points out that a University of Virginia researcher recently delved into this question and found the answer could quite possibly be yes.
All American vehicles must undergo crash tests using crash test dummies—or models of humans used to measure the effects crashes will have on drivers and passengers.
When crash test dummies were introduced, the average adult American male weighed around 170 pounds and that figure was used to create the models in vehicles being tested. Today though, an adult American male can often weigh as much as 300 pounds, which could affect the reliability of crash test results.
WDBJ 7 News reports that heavier crash test dummies tended to slide down in their seat during a crash, forcing seatbelts to ride up on the body and become less effective. In fact, seat belts that ride too high can cause serious car accident injuries. These findings have prompted crash test dummy manufacturers to create heavier models to be used in the future.
The attorneys at Skolrood Law Firm are hopeful these adjustments to vehicle safety testing standards will help to better protect American motorists from serious harm in accidents.