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Inclusive Crash Test Dummies: Rethinking Standards and Reference Models

Londa Schiebinger

Londa Schiebinger’s Gendered Innovations Project’s case study on Inclusive Crash Test Dummies features in a U.S. Congressional effort to include latest generation female crash test dummies in new car testing. The issue is that current female crash test dummies used by the NHTSA are simply scaled down versions of the male and do not model average female muscle and ligament strength, spinal alignment, and dynamic responses to trauma. As a result, belt-restrained female drivers are 47% more likely to sustain serious injury than males, when controlling for weight and body mass. From an intersectional point of view, elderly females and obese males are also among the most likely to be injured.

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