Save the Crash Test Dummies
Save the Crash Test Dummies
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Annotation: Navigates readers through the history of car production and offers a front-seat view of the science and engineering that makes the world's most important vehicle safe for us to drive.
Genre: Engineering
Catalog Number: #194597
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
No other formats available
Copyright Date: 2019
Edition Date: 2019
Illustrator: Grooms, TeMika,
Pages: 104 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: 1-682-63022-6
ISBN 13: 978-1-682-63022-8
Dewey: 629.2
LCCN: 2019017782
Dimensions: 27 cm.
Language: English
Kirkus Reviews
This jaunt through the history of car safety engineering reveals that we have both human and mechanical crash-test dummies to thank for making driving much safer than it was a century ago, when cars first became ubiquitous.The now-familiar crash-test dummy has its origins in Sierra Sam, an anthropomorphic test device invented in 1949 to test aircraft ejection seats for the Air Force. In 1968, a new ATD was created to meet car companies' needs, designed to enable engineers to see how humans move during a crash. Before ATDs, engineers had to use live animals, human cadavers, and live human volunteers in safety tests. The Hybrid III used for the last 30 years is the type of crash-test dummy designed to survive a frontal impact crash. Hybrid III is full of electronics, including "accelerometers, potentiometers, and load cells," which convey information to engineers that aids them in designing safer cars. In addition to discussing such car safety developments as bumpers, brakes, seat belts, and air bags, Swanson fills her narrative with other fascinating nuggets of automotive history and explanations of how cars work, with helpful accompanying diagrams. She concludes with a look at autonomous cars. Grooms' illustrations add both touches of humor and visual clarity; they are complemented by archival images.Attractively designed and engagingly written—sure to appeal to readers with a taste for the scientific and technical. (Nonfiction. 8-12)
Starred Review ALA Booklist
*Starred Review* No one would drive a car without brakes, mirrors, seat belts, airbags, or other safety features. In this innovative blend of history, technology, and engineering, Swanson shows how crash-test dummies (aka anthropomorphic test devices or ATDs) helped make these features standard and today's cars safer than ever, saving the lives of more than 330,000 people since 1960. After introducing readers to car basics and the crash-test dummy "family," comprised of a male, a female, children of varying ages, and even Fido, individual chapters address each safety feature. In the chapter on bumpers, for instance, Swanson gives a historical overview of the development of the bumper, from an early cowcatcher design that would "scoop" up hit pedestrians to the crumple zone of modern cars. She also begins to show the evolution of car safety in this chapter, from the use of cadavers in early design testing to the data acquisition systems of today's ATDs. Successive chapters relate more technology and engineering initiatives, such as how a crash test works, why an airbag must both inflate and deflate, and why objects are closer than they appear in curved mirrors. Ironically, self-driving cars, covered in the final chapter, must use live humans to test them. Vintage photos and cartoon ATDs throughout add to the insightful fun. STEM at its best.
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
Starred Review ALA Booklist (9/1/19)
Kirkus Reviews
Bibliography Index/Note: Includes bibliographical references and index.
Word Count: 14,929
Reading Level: 6.4
Interest Level: 2-5
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 6.4 / points: 2.0 / quiz: 504530 / grade: Middle Grades
Lexile: 920L
Guided Reading Level: Y
Fountas & Pinnell: Y

This entertaining book navigates readers through the history of car production and offers a frontseat view of the science and engineering that makes the worlds most important vehicle safe for us to drive.
Cars take us to work. To school. To soccer practice. To the grocery store and home again. Can you imagine a world without them? Its not easy! One of the reasons we can use cars so much in our everyday lives is because they are safe to drive. But that hasnt always been the case. If it werent for the experiments conducted over decades that involved all kinds of crash test volunteersdead, alive, animal, or automatedcars as we know them might not be around. And then how would you get to school?
Filled with fun fourwheeled nuggets of history and explanations of how cars actually work, this nonfiction book from former science educator and award-winning author Jennifer Swanson will appeal to lovers of all things that go and readers who are interested in getting in under the hood and seeing how things work.

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