By: AB G
Dr. Astrid Linder is leading the fabrication of smaller dummies in order to protect women drivers around the world. The main reason people are beginning to talk about this is Dr. Linder’s is the director of traffic safety at the Swedish National Road and Transport Research Institute, work. Shockingly, this major issue has not been brought up broadly, even though it has been the cause of thousands of deaths.
About fifty percent of drivers are women, so our current standards basically protect only half of our population. Statistics say that although men are most likely to cause car crashes, women are more likely to injured with greater severity in a crash. It seems as if car manufacturing businesses are not very focused on making cars safely drivable for women.
Scientists are still trying to figure out what causes women to be more susceptible to dying in car crashes. Many car companies have tried to make smaller versions of a male dummy to test in a crash test. However, a smaller male dummy does not work as a stand in for a female body. Women have different fat distributions, muscle strengths and bone alignment than men. According to the National highway Traffic Safety Administration, a male crash test dummy weighs 78kg (172 pounds), is 1.75 meters tall (5’ 9”), and is based on the average man in the 1970s. Vice Versa the female crash test dummy weighs 49 kg (108 pounds), is 1.5 meters tall (4’ 11”), and is based on the smallest 5% of American women in the 1970s.
It seems easy to make a dummy, just make a mannequin and put it in the car, but it is far more complicated than that. Each dummy has at least 100 data points which is why dummies can take up to decades to build. Most people are not willing to build a whole different dummy when you can just use a smaller male one. When you look at the two dummies side to side, there is not much of a difference. However, looking at the records of how many women have been killed versus men, you can really see clearly how much this impacts our community.
Dr. Astrid Linder is a Swedish engineer and researcher in motor vehicle safety. She views this problem as a major problem, and is beginning to build a prototype of a woman test crash dummy. "We know from injury statistics that if we look at low severity impacts females are at higher risk.,” Linder states.