Male-designed crash test dummies could be killing women

Women in Kentucky and across the U.S. are more likely to be injured in car accidents than men. According to a new study, one of the reasons for this issue is that the crash test dummies used by the auto industry don't represent the dimensions of the average woman.

Crash statistics have long shown that car crashes injure women more frequently than men. In fact, one study found that female car occupants are 73% more likely to suffer injuries or death in an accident than male car occupants. More than 10 years ago, traffic safety advocates noted that seat belts could be to blame for this phenomenon. Apparently, seat belts were designed for male bodies, and women who are short or prefer to sit in certain positions can counteract the device's restraint abilities, leading to more injuries and fatalities.

Now, researchers from the University of Virginia have found that crash test dummies might also be part of the problem. Most vehicle safety testing is done using dummies designed to represent the average male body. While a dummy meant to represent women was introduced in 2003, it is just 5 feet tall and weighs only 110 pounds, meaning that it does not represent the bodies of most women. One of the authors of the study said that male and female bodies have significant differences in fat distribution and pelvis shape, which could alter the ways that seat belts work during a crash. He went on to say that the auto industry has not adequately taken this information into account.

Kentucky women injured in car accidents might be able to recover financial compensation by filing a lawsuit against the party responsible for the crash. A personal injury lawyer may be able to represent the victim in court and push for a settlement that covers medical bills, lost wages and other losses.

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