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A crash test dummy is a full-scale anthropomorphic test device (ATD) that simulates the dimensions, weight proportions and articulation of the human body during a traffic collision. Dummies are used by researchers, automobile and aircraft manufacturers to predict the injuries a person might sustain in a crash[1]. Modern dummies are usually instrumented to record data such as velocity of impact, crushing force, bending, folding, or torque of the body, and deceleration rates during a collision.[citation needed] Some dummies cost over US$400,000.[1]

Prior to the development of crash test dummies, automobile companies tested using human cadavers, animals and live volunteers.[citation needed] Cadavers have been used to modify different parts of a car such as the seatbelt[2] This type of testing may provide more realistic test results than using a dummy[citation needed] but it raises ethical dilemmas[3] because human cadavers and animals are not able to consent to research studies. Animal testing is not prevalent today.[4]

There is constant need for new testing because each new vehicle has a different design.[citation needed]

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