Dummies in U.S. Highway Crash Tests Completely Ignore the Female Driver
This is completely egregious that a recent investigative report shows that the female driver plays almost no role in the federal government's auto-safety testing with crash dummies.
The report by Investigative TV/Gray DC in Washington found that when the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) tests vehicles for traffic safety, they almost always base test results on a 170 lb. male driver. Furthermore, results show that "female drivers are 73% more likely to be seriously injured in a car crash compared to male drivers in a similar crash, according to research from the University of Virginia. The research also shows that women are 20-percent more likely to die in an automobile crash than men.
Women dummies are used in safety tests, but mostly as passengers and not drivers of the vehicle. Results of the report also show that when an automobile company touts a five-star rating for safety, the accuracy of that claim depends on who is behind the wheel. While that rating may be accurate for an average size male, it doesn't necessarily apply to men of different body types and in general, women, according to the report.
Gray TV National Editor and White House correspondent and WIBX contributor Jon Decker spoke with Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton of the District of Columbia on the issue. While she says, women have reached equality when it comes to number of female drivers on the road, there's a discrimination when it comes to safety protections for the gender.
“Women have achieved equality on the road, that is to say in driving, but when it comes to testing, so that we are sure they are safe on the road, they are nowhere near achieving equality,” said Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton. The Congresswoman says it's time for legislation that guarantees auto manufacturers consider women and other body types when they build safety features into new vehicles going forward.
The report also claims that drivers, no matter the gender who are 200 pounds or shorter than 5-foot-9 are still outside of the standard, and therefore less safe.