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An anthropometric comparison of current ATDs with the U.S. Adult population

In: Traffic injury prevention. Vol. 14, no. 7 (2013), p. 703-705.

Authors: Matthew P. Reed, Jonathan D. Rupp

Objective: The anthropomorphic test devices (ATDs, or crash dummies) used in the assessment of vehicle crash protection were created based on particular anthropometric targets. The Hybrid-III ATDs widely used in the U.S. are commonly called the “5th-percentile female�, “50th-percentile male�, and “95th-percentile male� ATDs, referring to selection of the respective percentiles of the male and female U.S. adult populations as design targets for the ATDs. The objective of this work was to assess whether secular trends in U.S. anthropometry have affected the relationship between the ATDs and the population. Method: The corresponding percentiles were calculated from data obtained in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) for the years 2005–2008. Results: The results showed that the ATD stature targets differ from the current population by less than 5 percentile points, but the discrepancies for mass are much larger for the two male ATDs. Conclusions: The reference mass for the midsize-male Hybrid-III ATD of 78.2 kg is now the 33rd percentile body mass for U.S. adults, and the large-male ATD reference body mass of 102.5 kg is now the 81st percentile. The implications of these differences are discussed in the context of restraint system design.

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