Car crash tests have used male dummies based on the average size of a man for a long time. In May 2023, Swedish doctor Astrid Linder won the Woman of Worth (WOW) award from the Car of the Year for Women for designing and using the world’s first female crash test dummy. Dr. Linder believes that women are at a higher risk in car accidents and especially vulnerable to neck injuries.
Linder, who teaches traffic safety at VTI, began working with crash test dummies in the 1990s. She came up with the idea of creating a female dummy after discovering that women are at a higher risk of injury in car accidents than men.
The shape, weight, and height are factors that differentiate the female dummy from the male dummy, including the width of the shoulders and the center of gravity of the torso – higher in men. Volvo has conducted various safety tests, including using dummies simulating pregnant women to see how the fetus is protected. However, a study on female protection has never been conducted.
The goal of the project is to find better safety improvements not only for men but for the entire population. Linder’s work has been ongoing for over 20 years. Lack of funding is the biggest challenge for Linder and her team. In 2012, Volvo, Chalmers, and European partners created an estimated dummy simulating a normal woman. Such initiatives were considered “too difficult and expensive”.
Furthermore, European crash test regulations, UNECE, stipulate that the model of an average man must be used to test roadworthiness. Linder says, “As long as regulations say that, change won’t come from societal needs”.
However, Linder revealed that her team has received funding from the EU for their recently completed project. The project involves designing mathematical and physical models of a normal man and woman. By 2030, she hopes that safety programs can assess protection capabilities for both women and men in crash situations. “My vision is that we together improve safety.”
Therefore, it is hoped that the project will receive funding from leading road safety companies, such as Volvo, a company that has developed a safety system with up to 16 ultrasonic sensors and 8 cameras for its cars, especially the EX90.
Anh Quan (forum.autodaily.vn)