In one early study, embalmed corpses were flung down an elevator shaft to test noggin strength. The experiment led researchers to conclude the human head can take a surprising amount of force--about a ton and a half for a fraction of a second without injury, according to a documentary segment of the BBC science TV show Horizon that aired in 1998. The Detroit program made considerable headway (um, sorry) in the then-emerging field of auto-safety study. Wayne State researcher Albert King wrote in 1995 in the Journal of Trauma that cadaver research wound up saving 8,500 lives annually. For every cadaver used, he wrote, 61 people survive via seat belts, 147 by air bags and 68 by safety windshields.