New female-sized crash dummies give researchers better insight into the way car accidents affect female drivers and passengers, reports say. Until recently, a standard male-sized dummy was used in crash tests across the board. Now, with a smaller male-sized dummy and a female-sized dummy introduced, consumers and the auto industry alike can see just how dangerous wrecks can be on smaller passengers.
Initial tests reveal that women run a greater risk of being injured in frontal and side accidents. The tests also revealed that unlike with male passengers, if an airbag goes off, it hits females and doesn't deflate. Instead, it can snap the neck back.
These new women-sized dummies have provoked new rules about safety ratings. Now, all car companies must provide an overall safety rating, as well as one for women in the passenger seat. A study conducted at the University of Virginia Center for Applied Biomechanics revealed that seat-belted female drivers had a 47% greater chance for serious injuries than their male counterparts. It is statistics like that which indicate a need for safety tests catered toward women.
As a VA injury attorney, I'm glad to see the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and crash testers take the safety of women more seriously. I was shocked to learn that women-sized dummies weren't standard yet. Earlier this year NHTSA introduced a tween sized dummy to better understand an accident's effect on young teens. As we continue to better educate ourselves on the way the human body is harmed in car wrecks, we can better prepare and prevent such injuries and fatalities.