To end the tradition of safety in cars being mostly focused on men, a team of Swedish researchers has finally created the first crash test dummy mimicking a woman’s physique. The dummy, who stands an average of five feet three inches tall and weighs 137 pounds, will attempt to replace existing techniques that severely distorted a woman’s physique in practically every dimension.
The First Crash Dummies
The invention of the crash test dummy changed automobile safety in the 1970s. Few people were willing to participate in the automobile safety test, so a dummy had to be invented. Since then, these crash test dummies have advanced and become more accurate representations of the human body — or the body of a man, at least.
A Different Crash Test Dummy
You might be surprised to learn that a crash test dummy is always either male or a child, with women in cars frequently being represented by a scaled-down version of the male dummy. At about four feet eight inches tall, the mini-man dummy is about the size of a 12-year-old girl. People are either men or children from the viewpoint of the automobile industry.
Sadly, this affects car safety in the actual world. According to a University of Virginia study, women are much more likely than males to sustain injuries in the front seat of a moving vehicle. Additionally, compared to a male equivalent, they are approximately three times more likely to get whiplash in an accident. Both of these statistics are probably related to gender bias in safety technologies.
The researchers believe that by increasing the presence of women in the field of automotive safety research, this new dummy will help to close that gap. But before that can happen, researchers require regulators all across the world to accept and enforce the use of the female dummy. Otherwise, many people will continue using their outdated practices.