4 min read · Aug 26th · Men are more likely to cause crashes, but women are more likely to die in them. That’s because car manufacturers have no incentive to safely design vehicles for women—and that has to change.
What we didn’t know at the time was that our shared trauma was not unique—the sisterhood of vehicle-crash victims is farther reaching than we realized. Mothers and daughters are bonded not by stories and laughs, but by traumatic brain injuries, permanent scars, and moments of horror sealed into memory.
For tests with women in the passenger seat, the dummy used to represent women is merely a scaled down male—4’11”, 108 pounds, and lacking any sort of internal morphology that distinguishes between sexes.
Regulators have known for over 40 years that the internal structures of women put them at greater risk than men. In 1980, based on the recommendation of a team of researchers at the University of Michigan, NHSTA prepared to create a family of dummies that would have included a true female representation. When the Reagan administration came into power in 1981, the agency’s budget was slashed along with many other cuts to the federal government—the accurate female dummy was a casualty of those cuts.