Use of male crash dummies is limiting, study suggests
Researchers have long known that females have a higher risk of auto injuries than males, even in similar crash conditions. A recent study added to this knowledge by comparing the motion responses of females and males when subjected to a rear-impact collision. The data can be used to develop tools for crash safety assessment, such as computational models and crash test dummies.
The study involved 21 male and 21 female volunteers subjected to rear impact simulations at 4 and 8 km/h. Several differences were discovered between the average motion responses of males and females. In general, females had smaller angular and rearward horizontal movements in their head, mainly due to earlier contact between the head and the head restraint, as well as physiological differences between males and females. The female participants also showed more pronounced rebound motion.
The data indicates the presence of significant differences in the head and neck responses between males and females in rear-end collisions. The use of male crash test dummies may be limiting the development of systems to adequately protect both males and females from whiplash and other injuries.
Carlsson A, et al. Motion of the head and neck of female and male volunteers in rear impact car-to-car impacts. Traffic Injury Prevention 2012; 13(4): 378-387.