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Obese people are 78 percent more likely to die in a crash

America's well-publicized weight problem and aging population of baby boomers is collaborating to bring about a change in the humble crash test dummy, as automakers and safety regulators are attempting to build vehicles even better suited to our changing population.

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Automotive companies have a long history of getting crash data from dead bodies

The practice of smashing dead bodies in cars may seem shocking, data from such experiments have saved thousands of lives.

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Ford's inflatable seatbelt – Click above for high-res image gallery

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GM's H50-1 ATD in action – Click above for high-res image gallery

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We Americans seem to be getting fatter every year, and it appears we're not alone. Over in the UK, sedentary jobs, less walking, and bigger meal-sizes have given the Brits a more portly perspective, and as a matter of safety, their crash test dummies may follow suit. In the 1950's, the average UK male tipped the scales at about 170 lbs., and the average has only nudged up by a few pounds, but since 22-percent of British men are overweight, testing could soon be done with dummies weighing up to 2

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