The fact that there has never been a female crash test dummy before came to the attention of the world. Feminists were rightfully upset to realize that there is virtually no research being done that focuses on how to keep their bodies safe in the case of inevitable accidents.
Well, all that is changing with the introduction of a female crash test dummy.
The new dummy stands at 5 feet 3 inches tall and weighs 137 pounds, and will hopefully give manufacturers some real idea of how effective current safety measures are for smaller-framed people.
Previously, the only dummies were the size of adult males or children, with the largest of the latter being about the size of a 12yo – still smaller than the average adult female.
One study out of the University of Virginia discovered that, possibly as a direct result, women were significantly more likely than men to get injured in a car accident while sitting in the front seat.
They are also three times more likely to suffer whiplash compared to male passengers.
Both of these are the result of the male bias present in safety technology, says researcher Astrid Linder.
“We know from injury statistics that if we look at low severity impacts females are at higher risk. So, in order to ensure that you identify the seats that have the best protection for both parts of the population, we definitely need to have the part of the population at highest risk represented.”
Researchers hope this new dummy will allow the gap to begin to close, as it will improve the ability to test safety protocols on a simulated female frame.
That said, facilities will first have to purchase and agree to use the dummy – so, as with all scientific progress, it’s one step at a time.