Monday, May 14, 2007

Ford helps heftier folks fasten their seatbelts

The changing size of anthropometric models ...

"Do you have to fasten not only the driver's but also the passenger's safety belt around you when you slip behind the wheel?

With nearly one of every three Americans rated "obese" by the American Medical Association, you just might.

And the car companies are addressing the problem. Hard to believe, but the last time attention was paid to how the size of people affects the size of the passenger cabin was when John, Paul, Ringo and George were an opening act in the '60s.

"Because of increased obesity, more of today's motorists are grappling with tighter fits around steering wheels, armrests and seats," said Gary Rupp, a Ford ergonomics research engineer. Suit coats can be let out with needle and tread; doors can't.

... It took six years, but Ford has come up with a set of virtual reality mannequins to help its designers create cabins to fit occupants whether they are petite or XXL.

The mannequins represent people with long or short arms and long or short legs, as well as larger hips.

They are used to determine cabin dimensions from the size of the seat to the size of the centre console between the plumper driver and front-seat passenger.

It means motorists can now breathe a little easier -- even if they need to exercise more."    (Continued via Driving.ca)    [Ergonomics Resources]

Obese Driver - Ergonomics

Obese Driver

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