Female Crash Test Dummies On The Way
|   Tuesday, August 28, 2012
Starting with 2011 model years federal authorities have demanded that carmakers use petite female models in frontal collisions crash tests. We have to give credit to Autonews for providing us with an ample analysis on that matter.

Many advocates of safety standards as well as carmakers have fought for more than 50 years about which human forms to consider in safety tests. More epidimiologists, engineers and others think the safety regulations must focus on redesigning cars, not just simply training and policing drivers.
This discussion regarding safety movement was thought to have ended with the adoption of the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1966, an act that created the first nationwide automotive safety standards.

Since then a lot has happened. And carmakers aren't particularly helpful either, as they have the tendency to fight off any rules at any moment.
For example, the rule known as "Interior Occupant Protection" resisted heroically; you might know it as Standard 201.What does it mean? The second collision means the drivers and passengers aren't hurt in the first collision between a car and another car, instead sustaining injuries when their bodies hit the inside of the vehicle. According to that idea, the aim of the advocates was to secure the inside of the car, a goal they deemed to be highly important.

The carmakers are not particularly fond of Standard 201, because they need to spend more money. Also, we have two dummy models that must incorporate the large diversity of human bodies. The dummies would have to come in various sizes as the head of a tall person would hit different places than the head of a short person. Note that the modes are in proportion of 95 percent male with only and 5 percent female.

Now, the need to create a female model for that 5 percent is being challenged by the carmakers. They claim that no such model ever existed and also, that to create such a model would take too long, and the profits would be uncertain. Right now, the battle between the regulators and the carmakers is far from over and no clear winner can be observed.

Crash test dummies became a necessary part of safety standards for the first time back in 1973. These models were used in frontal crash tests, going beyond just identifying potential impact points. Now the first model, known as Hybrid II, was 50 percent male. Because the model was so complex and costly, policy and carmakers decided on using a single one model. Other reasons could have been behind that, but this one seems the most plausible.

However, only last year, in 2011, did the usage of a female model become a necessary part of frontal crash tests. This will have a tremendous impact on women's auto safety. Airbags are mainly projected for your average male, thus they will hit men in the upper chest area protecting their heads.

But for small women, when the airbags go off the chin is hit first, thus pushing their heads back, which could damage the heat and /or spine. The University of Virginia's Center for Applied Biomechanics discovered that women with seatbelts on were 47 percent more likely to be seriously harmed when in accidents compared to males in similar situations.
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