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Female Crash Test Dummies Now Used in Car Safety Tests

New federal regulations require automakers to use female crash test dummies for front-end collision testing, starting with model year 2011 vehicles.

2012-10-20
October 20, 2012 (Press-News.org) Car accidents have the potential to cause very serious injuries. Although nothing can completely erase the risk of harm that comes with a crash, good vehicle design can go a long way to minimize the severity of crash victims' injuries.

Most people are probably aware that automobile manufacturers use crash-test dummies to measure the risk of injury in a car accident. These measurements are then translated into consumer safety ratings. However, many people may be surprised to learn that most of these safety rankings apply only to average-sized males. Until recently, automakers did not use "female" dummies in their crash scenarios.

This has just begun to change. New federal regulations require automakers to use female crash test dummies for front-end collision testing, starting with model year 2011 vehicles.

Automakers fought the regulation, arguing that it would be too costly to develop an entirely new mannequin. However, the disparate impact auto accidents have on female victims clearly demonstrates the need for better crash testing. When compared to an average-sized male, smaller women are more than three times as likely to suffer serious injuries in a collision.

Part of the risk comes from the fact that women's bodies are built differently than men's. Women have lower bone density, which makes them more susceptible to fractures and crush injuries. In addition, their necks are less muscular, increasing the risk of whiplash and disc trauma.

Women also have a higher risk of injury because of the way vehicles are designed. For example, airbags are designed to strike the average male in the chest. However, because women are smaller, the airbag often ends up striking them in the chin, causing their heads and necks to snap backwards. In addition, because women often sit closer to the steering wheel than men do, they are not as well-protected by the pillar between the front and back doors.

Crash-test ratings involving female mannequins are starting to become available, but most ratings still reflect the traditional male-modeled dummies. Women who are shopping for new vehicles would be wise to consult the female-specific ratings on safercar.gov before making a purchase.

New Mexico Car Accident Lawsuits

Even the safest car cannot prevent all injuries. In New Mexico, individuals who are injured in a car accident caused by another person's negligence have a right to seek compensation in a civil lawsuit. Accident victims may be entitled to recover financial damages for a number of losses including medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering and loss of future earning capacity.

It is not always simple to prove how victims' car accident injuries will affect their lives. As such, it is important for victims to enlist the help of an experienced attorney who can present their case in the most persuasive light. If you or a loved one has been injured in a New Mexico car accident, an experienced personal injury attorney can help you protect your rights.

Article provided by Davis Law Firm
Visit us at yournewmexicolawfirm.com


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[Press-News.org] Female Crash Test Dummies Now Used in Car Safety Tests
New federal regulations require automakers to use female crash test dummies for front-end collision testing, starting with model year 2011 vehicles.