An aspect of vehicle safety getting increased scrutiny is how crashes affect women differently than men.
In a Feb. 15 letter to U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, 66 members of Congress called for updated federal policy to address disparities in crash outcomes between women and men. Citing 2019 data from NHTSA, the letter said a female driver is 73 percent more likely to be seriously injured than a male driver in a vehicle crash and 17 percent more likely to die.
While dummies modeled on women and children are becoming more commonplace, the industry traditionally has used crash test dummies based on men's bodies — a complaint cited in the congressional letter to Buttigieg.
The letter calls for the U.S. Department of Transportation to require the use of "accurate, up-to-date female crash test dummies in NHTSA's New Car Assessment Program and Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards."
In a January report, "Equity in Crashworthiness Safety," NHTSA said it is putting together a research plan to address female crash safety that includes analyzing field data, conducting experimental research into crash biomechanics, developing and testing advanced crash test dummies, and using computer-simulated human body models.