Crash test dummies Men are more likely to be involved in car accidents than women, but it’s women who are more likely to be seriously injured or killed. Women drivers are 73% more likely to be seriously injured in a car crash compared to men in a similar accident, according to new research. Female drivers are also about 20% more likely to be killed in a wreck than males. In a recent study, researchers at the University of Virginia took a closer look at why this difference exists. The issue, according to the UV authors, is vehicle design and safety-test standards.
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One body type for crash tests
Manufacturers design car crash safety features with an eye to winning the best possible score from the federal highway administration’s 5-Star Safety Rating system. The trusted system bases its scores, almost exclusively, on one body type: a 5-foot-9, 170-pound man, the study said. According to researchers, anyone who doesn’t fit this mold does not get the full benefit of a vehicle’s safety features, which means a vehicle’s 5-Star Safety Rating may not apply to everyone. The lack of diversity in safety features has led to women being severely injured and killed in car accidents at a higher rate than men.
Advocates for change
Some crash safety advocates are calling for the federal government to update the male and female models and expand the body types of the dummies it uses to run safety tests. A resource that generates a wider array of crash data significant to women already exists, and it’s a newer crash-test dummy model called THOR. THOR can detect crash-impact to parts of the body the Hybrid III does not. THOR has 200 sensor data points; the Hybrid III has 10. It collects more information on areas of the body where women are particularly vulnerable like the legs, pelvis, neck, and chest. Proponents of more variety in safety testing say the 5-Star system should use THOR, but the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration has been slow to adopt THOR. It’s not clear why. THOR was developed in the early 2000s by the national highway administration working with private researchers. Many European nations already use THOR as their standard crash test dummy.
Driving safe in North Carolina
The Law Offices of Richard Flexner has been helping injured crash victims in the Wilmington, North Carolina, area for more than 35 years. If you’ve been injured or a loved one died in a car accident, it is in your best interest to contact a lawyer. Let us handle the insurance company and fight for every dollar you deserve. Our law firm offers free case consultations, so whether you suffered a broken arm, fractured wrist, neck pain, internal injuries, or another kind of trauma, a member of our legal team can listen to the details of your case and explain your legal options. We also offer legal representation on contingency, which means you pay no fees unless we win your case. Find out how an experienced car accident lawyer can help you and contact us right now to set up your free case review.