Crash test dummies and women verify claims

Texas News Today

The VERIFY team analyzed the data and discussed with experts whether dummy modeling for crash tests is more likely to cause women to die in car accidents than men.

Since it was posted on September 28, an Instagram post by The Female Quotient, “a female-owned business that promotes equality in the workplace,” has sparked a conversation. You have over 251,000 followers on your Instagram account.

The post has more than 8,500 likes and hundreds of comments, adding that men are more likely to crash, but “women are more likely to die there.” Why? “Security agencies do not use female mannequins in many trial conflicts,” the Post claims.

Some other tweets were also making the same claim, see Here When Here, for example.

This is a complex claim to analyze. The VERIFY team analyzed two questions. Are men more likely to crash than women, or are women more likely to be injured or killed by men’s crash test dummies?

question 1

Are men more likely to cause accidents than women?

source of information


Yes, according to the National Road Safety Authority, men cause more accidents than women, but the statistics on accidents and mortality require more context.

what we found

According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) data, from 1975 to 2019, men were involved in more accidents than women. The data shows driver participation per 100,000 licensed drivers over the age of 16, based on gender and severity of conflict.

The Highway Safety Insurance Institute (IIHS) has historically reported that many men die each year in car accidents, based on data from the US Department of Transportation’s Mortality Analysis and Reporting System (FARS).

“Men typically travel longer than women and are more likely to engage in hazardous driving practices, such as not using a safety belt, driving with a disability, and speeding. Women Conflicts involving women are often more severe than those involving women drivers,” the report said.

In 2019, 71% of those who died in accidents were men, NHTSA told VERIFY by email.

It is also true that women are 72% more likely to be injured in a car accident and 17% more likely to die in the same accident as a man.

Proceed to the next question.

Question 2

Since crash test dummies are “adapted for the male body”, are women more likely to be injured or killed in a crash?

source of information


This requires reference.

Humanetics President and CEO Chris O’Connor told VERIFY that safety tests are biased towards women because more tests are performed using male crash test dummies. However, there are other factors to consider in relation to female mortality, such as the type of car a woman is in and the type of collision.

what we found

Female crash test dummies are used in some Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) tests, but the older design, developed 40 years ago, says Chris O., president and CEO of Humanetics. Connor told VERIFY in an email.

Humanetics is the largest manufacturer of Anthropomorphic Test Devices (ATDs) commonly known as crash test dummies.

“Women in Regulation With ATD” [New Car Assessment Program] The NCAP test is basically a scaled-down version of the men’s, and there’s no sensor that detects a woman-specific injury profile,” O’Connor said, biasing the collision safety test toward women.

While crash test dummies are a sophisticated device, Jessica German, IIHS’s vice president of vehicle research, said, “These organ tissues are not sophisticated enough to represent differences in bone levels between men and women.” I told VERIFY .

When asked whether modeling crash test dummies could directly cause mortality among men and women, Germanian said, “Easy answers don’t have all the answers.” where did it go.

“But some of the studies we’ve done, some of the past studies of men and women, are due to other differences between male and female accidents that may influence outcomes. I know that physiological differences in the world are always entirely are no different,” she said.

“The type of car they drive, where they get into the car, the type of collision, etc., can all affect the risk of injury. For example, women drive cars and men drive. But they drive pickup trucks , but even within the same vehicle type, for example an SUV, women choose smaller and lighter cars, men choose heavier cars, and the difference between them is a collision. This affects the risk of injury at that time. can do,” she said.

Women’s unique bodily functions (bone density, muscle composition, fat distribution, chest, abdomen) mean that 51% of the population using the default male crash test dummies is not properly represented. to do.

According to the NHTSA, female crash test dummies were introduced in 2003, and male crash test dummies were used exclusively decades earlier.

NHTSA told VERIFY in an email that the dummy dolls were used for male and female crash tests in a variety of modes, including belt and unbelt configurations, in safety testing and computer simulations. Here’s an example:

  • A female dummy in the 5th percentile of the driver and passenger seats in a full-front crash test that simulates a head-on collision between two vehicles.
  • A 50th percentile male dummy in the driver and passenger seats in a full-front accident that simulates a head-on collision between two vehicles.
  • A female dummy in the 5th percentile of driver and passenger seats in a 40% offset head-on collision test that simulates a head-on collision in which two vehicles partially overlap.

The NHTSA website has a list of crash test dummies used in routine tests and simulations. This includes the 5th percentile of adult women who are 4 feet 11 inches tall and weigh 108 pounds, and the shortest adult women who are 4 feet 11 inches. inches high and weighs 97 pounds.

In an email to VERIFY, NHTSA describes the various test modes using only the 5th percentile dummy.

Germakian told VERIFY that test dummies are not yet very sophisticated and that there are new test dummy technologies that could be used to better represent women, but “the problem is better for women in future conflicts. What safety and to promote improvement.”

OTHER ARTICLES ON VERIFY: No, electric cars are less harmful to the environment than gasoline cars

The VERIFY team works to differentiate between fact and fiction so that we can understand what is true and what is false. Consider subscribing to daily newsletters, text alerts, and YouTube channels. You can also follow us on Snapchat. Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Tiktok. learn more “

follow us

Need a Verified?

Text: 202-410-8808


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here