“When a woman steps into a car to drive, she assumes she’s safe.”
Volvo Car Corporation
We also believe that it should be a matter of course that all occupants should be protected equally. At the very least, it is unacceptable that entire population groups are simply ignored when developing vehicle components, just because the consideration of their demands is not explicitly required in the legal text.
For this reason, we have adopted the "5 % woman" from the Hybrid III family, a small and light crash test dummy, which we use in our research projects equivalent to the 50 % dummy (only its use is required by law) and the particularly heavy and large 95 % dummy. In this way, we can develop vehicle components such as seats and belt systems for all occupant sizes and dimensions on our crash system.
Dummies for accident tests have been around for a long time, the first one was called "Sierra Sam”. He was used by the US military for aircraft ejection seats, belt systems and life jackets.
The Hybrid III family was developed many years ago, but their use in Europe's legal crash tests has been unbalanced since then: While testing, the 50 % man is most often sitting at the steering wheel. As a result, safety-relevant components such as airbags, seats, headrests and the pedals are only standardized for men by some manufacturers, but for others it is natural to consider different body sizes. Nevertheless: Studies and statistics show that women are exposed to higher levels of stress in accidents and that they are at greater risk of serious injuries. According to ADAC accident researchers, the risk of serious to life-threatening breast injuries in accidents for women, adolescents and seniors is 30 % higher than for men.
With a population of 52 % women, this should be reason enough to take a closer look at this problem and put the 5 % woman at the center of our research.
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