Review of average sized male and female occupant models in European regulatory safety assessment tests and European laws
Although governments in European countries and other parts of the world aim at creating inclusive societies for all individuals through gender equality, there is a gap that needs bridging between this aim and how vehicle occupant safety is actually assessed.
This study shows the gap between law and practice as well as the gap between the superior legal principle gender equality and subordinate legal rules, and how these gaps occur and persist. Moreover, the study highlights the (urgent) need for questioning the law: Why the law does not give priority to the protection of women’s traffic safety in a similar manner it does with regard to the traffic safety of men.
Despite injury statistics showing that protection in the event of a crash is not equal for women and men, the average male represents the adult population in vehicle safety assessments. Development and usage of occupant models representing the female part of the population, i.e. crash test dummies representing the average female, for use in regulatory tests together with the male equivalent would narrow this gap.
Paper published in Accident Analysis & Prevention:
Review of average sized male and female occupant models in European regulatory safety assessment tests and European laws: Gaps and bridging suggestions