"This campaign is an eye-opener on how little you consider the fact that women too have different needs, and the go-to design for crash tests is a male," said actress Radhika Apte at The Equal Vehicles for All initiative. Organized by the famed company Volvo, this drive aims to train women drivers while also using women crash test dummies along with male crash test dummies.
Automakers produce cars based on data from male crash test dummies
Traditionally, male crash test dummies have always been used, however, women have different anatomy than men and hence crashes affect women differently. Also, the fact that women drivers are treated with a bias is something that has happened ever since women were given the right to drive in public. According to a study conducted by Volvo, women are at a higher risk of succumbing to car accidents due to the structure of their bodies. Also, the fact that male dummies are used which are the average size of a US male show the problems with the system; the dummy is usually 77.7 kilograms. Therefore, this continual practice is endangering the lives of women drivers because "most automakers still produce cars based exclusively on data from male crash test dummies," said the Swedish brand. Note that male drivers are involved in a majority of all car accidents which does prove that women are better on the road than men.
Women have a higher tendency to experience whiplash injuries
However, some companies like The Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) have been using a smaller 49kg female dummy in the driver’s seat, and with children in the rear which is a better scenario. Professor Lotta Jakobsson, a senior technical specialist at Volvo’s safety center, said, "This means our cars are developed with the aim to protect all people, regardless of gender, height, shape or weight, beyond the ‘average person’ represented by crash test dummies." Since women have a higher tendency to experience whiplash injuries Volvo has been taking into account seat design and is making the crash research data available to everyone so that people more people can be safe while driving.
Image credit: Medium