Landsberg, Germany

By Michael Dalder

Have you ever thought about the number of cars that are on the road every day?

According to research by WardsAuto, in 2010 the number of cars in operation around the globe grew to more than 1 billion for the very first time.

That’s a lot of cars. No doubt, it also means a lot of accidents every day. But I had the chance to witness the work of some engineers – along with their reticent assistants – whose job it is to help prevent these accidents from happening by researching car safety.

I spent two days at the crash-test laboratory of the German motor club ADAC in Landsberg, near Munich, photographing the “daily routine” of crash test dummies.

The ADAC has a crash test facility accredited by the car assessment program Euro NCAP, where it probes the safety of vehicles, carrying out different tests and rating cars’ performance.

I was allowed to photograph the goings-on in the lab, including a frontal crash with a block fitted with a so-called “deformable aluminium honeycomb face.”