If you’ve ever seen a crash dummy, you know that they usually look the same. One big question that some are posing now is whether or not these dummies are made while thinking about the body shape or mass of women.
It’s already known that women are more likely to be injured in crashes than men, but is that a result of safety tests that don’t consider women as often as men? Interestingly, there is no crash dummy that accurately represents the average woman. That’s despite the fact that females make up around half of all drivers on the road.
Even in the same circumstances, a female driver or front passenger is 17% more likely to be killed in a collision than a male counterpart. In 2019, a study showed that women wearing their seat belts were 73% more likely to be injured in a head-on crash compared to men. That’s a statistic that is alarming.
It isn’t that there aren’t female crash dummies. There are, but they aren’t representative of the population. The female crash dummy used in testing is only 4 foot 10 inches tall. It’s also only 108 pounds.
The Auto Alliance has argued that females today are actually closer to the size of the male crash dummy, but there are differences that aren’t accounted for like a weaker neck or having to sit closer to the wheel due to height.
All of these things can add up to make driving more dangerous for females, but changing the dummies may not have a significant impact. Slowing down, avoiding drinking and driving, and avoiding distractions can have just as much of a positive role in reducing collisions.