Women have a higher probability of dying or being seriously injured in a vehicle accident than men, and part of the reason may lie in the outdated crash test dummies used by car manufacturers.
The problem is real and it is significant. Researchers from the University of Virginia have reported that the chance of a female dying or suffering a serious injury in a car accident is 73% higher than for a male.
Crash Test Dummy Technology Needs to Be Updated
In a recently published study, Traffic Injury Prevention reported that the female crash dummies currently used to test vehicle safety might play a role in the disproportion between female and male accident fatalities. When testing with the smaller dummy, vehicle manufacturers are not accounting for the size of an average woman today.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) didn’t even begin to use female crash dummies until 2003. The female models were manufactured to be 5 feet tall and 110 pounds – and the same size dummies are still in use. However, the average U.S. woman today is more than 5 feet 3 inches tall and weighs 170 pounds according to Medical News Today.
Prior to the release of this most recent study, researchers attributed the difference between male and female fatality rages to seat belts and posture. Blame was placed on the fact that women are of relatively shorter statures and that their preferred seating posture prevented standard restraint devices from protection.
There are differences between men and women when accounting for death and injury rates. For example, females have generally wider and more shallow pelvises. Women also have different tissue concentrations and fat distributions than men. These differences may change how seat belts affect both the body and underlying skeletal structures.
The challenge for car testing designers? Create a realistic female crash test dummy that will save women’s lives.
We Can Help If You Have Been Injured in a Car Accident
If you or a family member has been harmed by a defective product, car accident, truck accident, construction accident, slip and fall or any other type of personal injury, please contact StolzenbergCortelli, LLC Attorneys at Law immediately. Please call us for a free consultation at our locations in New York County, Rockland County and Westchester County. Attorneys Howard Stolzenberg and Terrence James Cortelli, personal injury attorneys in White Plains, Nyack and New York City, will fight to secure justice for you and your family. You can reach us at 800-494-0889 or contact us via the website.