About Pedestrian Dummies:

Pedestrian dummies have been crucially important in the development of today’s modern motor vehicle. Tests with these dummies have helped to dictate the frontal shape of the vehicle so that the effects of car-pedestrian impacts are mitigated to prevent injury and death.

Why we test with Pedestrian Dummies

Pedestrian dummies are used to aid the vehicle designer in developing the forward surfaces of the car both in shape and impact response to lessen the negative effect of a pedestrian impact. Wound injuries were caused by rigid hood ornaments. Leg breakage was caused by bumper impact. High grilles caused thoracic damage. Head injury was caused by impact with the hood and windshield. Knock-down and run over accidents were caused by interaction with the front of the vehicle. Redesign of these components of the vehicle has been aided by testing with the pedestrian dummies. Trajectories over the car have been favorably compared to those with Post Mortem Human Subjects. Designs have resulted in low sloping front ends and windshields and compliant hoods which benefit the pedestrian and improve the performance of the car.

History of Pedestrian Dummies

Humanetics developed a pedestrian dummy based on the Hybrid II dummy with modified parts in the early 1970’s. The lower leg tubes were replaceable to minimize the cost of repair after a test. The knees were simplified and allowed the joint to be fixed in a fully extended forward kick posture. The ankles had a 3rd pin joint added to them to allow placement for standing stability. The pelvis was revised with the addition of separate buttocks to allow the legs to rotate to a standing position. The lumbar was stiffened for erect posture and the lumbar bracket was sloped to allow the dummy to lean and put all of its segment centers of gravity approximately over each other. This allowed the dummy to stand on its own with 80% of its weight on one leg-a customer requirement. Many of these dummies were sold over the years and are still available. After the introduction of the Hybrid III frontal impact dummy Humanetics developed a Hybrid III pedestrian. This dummy demonstrated improved dynamic characteristics, flight trajectory over the car after being hit, and had the Hybrid III dummy’s improved impact response in the head, neck, chest and knees.

Pedestrian Dummies in the US Code of Federal Regulations

These dummies have been in use since the 1970’s by vehicle manufacturers and independent test labs but have not been adapted into the U.S. Code of Federal regulations.

Future Pedestrian Dummies

Some child dummies were designed as pedestrians and others may be modified to that configuration in the future. The P and Q dummies may also be adopted for this application.

Pedestrian Dummy Review

The Pedestrian dummies were developed at the request of independent test laboratories and have been used by these labs and auto manufacturers to facilitate pedestrian friendly vehicle design. This effort has been important in the United States and also in Europe where a larger proportion of smaller pre motor vehicle roads has lead to more pedestrian problems. This effort has resulted in significant vehicle redesign in the last four decades contributing to vehicle performance and pedestrian safety.

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