Before crash test dummies were developed, the tests were done with human cadavers and today human corpses are still used to improve automotive safety!
John O. Moore started the Automotive Crash Injury Research Center in 1952 where using crash testing was pioneered.
Originally human cadavers were used before crash test dummies were developed. You may find this information shocking or gross, but it still happens today!
As recent as last year researchers in Spain announced that they will be using human cadavers again instead of crash test dummies because of budget restraints!
The Laboratory of Technology and Systems for Safety In Automobiles in northern Spain is one of six places in the world where human-body crash tests were conducted.
Researchers say that human bodies will give them a much clearer idea of what happens to internal organs during a crash.
Using cadavers for these types of tests continues to this day in America and Europe. Auto manufacturers stick to dummies because they do not want to get involved in the business of handling dead bodies or of disposing of them afterwards.
Universities receive funding to do certain tests on human bodies and to make the data available to manufacturers. This data has been proven to be invaluable.
In a 1995 article in the Journal of Trauma, researcher Albert King estimated that about 8,500 lives are saved every year as a result of crash research on human corpses.