Issues with crash dummies may increase car injury risks for women

Women in Georgia and other states are more likely to be injured in car accidents than men. Prior research has linked this to flaws with seat belt design. Sitting posture and a generally shorter stature are some of the reasons previously cited to explain why seat belts may not provide sufficient protection for women. A university study suggests that issues with crash test dummies may also be a contributing factor.

The study suggests that manufacturers are largely not making an attempt to accurately represent the human woman in car accident tests involving artificial models used for seat belt testing. One of the reasons why women are nearly 75% more likely to sustain serious injuries or death in auto accidents than men could be that most crash tests are conducted with male-type dummies.

Dummies meant to simulate female drivers or passengers were first developed in 2003. However, these female-type models are 5 feet tall and weigh 110 pounds. These dimensions are off from the statistics that actually apply to the average woman. One of the researchers involved with the study acknowledges that there are various structural and biomechanical differences between men and women that can affect how much protection seat belts provide should a motor vehicle accident occur. The researcher further contends that efforts to apply this information to real-life situations and the way seat belts are designed have yet to be made. Improperly designed seat belts can also contribute to the severity of injuries sustained in an accident.

When a car accident involves any type of victim, a lawyer may consider how well a seat belt was designed when exploring legal options. Results from a manufacturer's various safety tests might be reviewed as well to identify potential flaws that weren't resolved or addressed. Human error is also likely to be explored, especially if there is evidence of distraction or reckless driving.

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