Dummy will enable emergency services and collision investigators to better understand natiure of collisions

Students in Canada have developed a crash test dummy to enable emergency services and collision investigators to better understand exactly what happens when a cyclist is struck by a motor vehicle.

According to CBC News, which has a video with footage of a trial earlier this week, the study was devised after a student at Carleton University in Ottawa, 27-year-old Krista Johnson, was killed while cycling in autumn last year.

Students from Carleton’s Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering designed and assembled the electronic components for the test, with their counterparts from Algonquin College’s Mechanical Technician-Toolmaking course responsible for the mechanical side.

An article on the Carleton Newsroom says: “On average, there are 311 reported collisions involving vehicles and cyclists each year in Ottawa. Between 2007 and 2011, there were 1,556 vehicle/cyclist collisions with 1,253 injuries and 12 fatalities. 

“To date, there is very little research or findings to assist collision investigators in gathering evidence from vehicle/cyclist collisions scenes and to reconstruct the events.”

Detective Alain Boucher, project liaison officer at Ottawa Police, commented: “By observing and collecting data about this simulated crash test, Ottawa Police collision investigators expect to have a better understanding of what occurs during a low speed (30 km/h) collision between a vehicle and bicycle.”

JP Trottier, a spokesman for the Ottawa Paramedic Service, said: "When we arrive at scenes where there was a collision between a car and bike, our paramedics really have to take a look at the damage on the vehicle, the point of impact on the vehicle and the severity of those points of impact. That would determine where we look for injuries on the patient."

This YouTube video, taken at an earlier demonstration last month by Chris Mikula of The Ottawa Citizen shows the dummy in action.


Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.