Daily Archives: September 2, 2010

Cadaver Crash Car Testing Yields Safety Advancements

How A Cadaver Made Your Car Safer.  Jalopnik. 

Well the automobile manufacturers will deny they use dead human bodies in their safety testing of cars.  Instead, they farm out the work to universities who have access to cadavers, and can easily study the sturdiness of the technological marvels coming off assembly lines before they hit the showrooms and streets.

How they do it.  Image here.

Typically in cadaver tests, as the one pictured here run by the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, researchers swaddle the body in stockings, including one over its face, partly for scientific reasons and partly out of respect. The arms and hands, if still attached, are bound in place to keep them from moving during a simulated crash, and sensors record the forces on various parts.

Alas, a modicum of respect for the dead.  It appears the number of cadaver studies has been diminishing over the years now that computer models and simulation has advanced.  Apparently, quite a bit has been discerned. 

But is it right or is it wrong?  You be the judge. 

Prasad says as good as computer models are, they still can’t capture the exact essence of how human tissue reacts.

“It’s always a good idea when you’re developing something to do cadaver testing,” he said.

Here is a human partaking in an airbag test.  Ouch!  Did that blow to the belly trigger a visit to bathroom right quick afterwards?

Airbag goes off in human guinea pig crash test

June 9, 2010

A report by NBC in Kansas City, Missouri Government Videos Raise Cadaver Questions written version.  Video version at You Tube.  The report raises the question of deception in not entirely revealing the plans for a body donated to science. 

Human Cadaver Test Dummies(??) Report

November 21, 2008

Bottom line is that if you donate your body to science, then they have the final say in what exactly happens to you once you are in their possession.  Even if you are unaware of the breadth of the possibilities.  It is likely to help advance science, nonetheless.  Chop, chop.  Bump, thump.  Fling, flung.  Crunch, crush.

One particularly illuminating example of what happens during testing came from a comment by SeanKHotay.  His personal observations from a presentation by a professor studying impacts in a boxer and a cadaver in a crash test.

His first video was of a boxer sparring while wearing head gear with load cells to measure the force of the blows with a pony tail of wires down his back…

The next was of cadavers getting hit from different angles just to show the flexing of the skull before fracturing…

He then showed an x-ray of a skull where they obviously had drilled holes to put load cells inside the skull, wires coming out of it, to further measure blunt force head trauma…

As Margo Channing who played Bette Davis in “All About Eve,” said,

Fasten your seatbelts, it’s going to be a bumpy night!

The Crash Test Dummies, Vince & Larry, arrive to teach safety.
“Crash test dummies.  Vince and Larry, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s talking crash test dummies.  The people behind the masks in this photo are Katie Snipes as Larry and Michael Dawson as Vince.
Image courtesy of http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/ncdiv/docs/patbroc.htm and http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Dummies.jpg.