Reuters - Video

EDITION: U.S. | U.K. | IN

Business Travel

Female crash test dummy takes wheel for women's whiplash

Monday, Oct 08, 2012 - 02:33

Oct. 8 - Swedish researchers have produced a crash test dummy to represent the average female, in a bid to reduce the numbers of women receiving whiplash injuries in road accidents. According to a recent Swedish study, women are twice as likely as men to suffer such injuries when hit from behind, but the standard crash test dummy is almost exclusively based on the average male. Jim Drury has more.

▲ Hide Transcript

View Transcript

It's a crash test dummy with a difference - this one's female, which is rare, and its creator hopes it will help reduce whiplash injuries in women. The term whiplash describes a range of neck injuries caused by a sudden distortion. Sufferers can endure long-lasting pain. A recent study by Swedish insurance company Folksam suggests women are at double the risk of suffering the condition as men. Yet safety tests tend to use dummies based on the average male. Anna Carlsson, of Gothenburg's Chalmers University of Technology, wants that to change. SOUNDBITE (Swedish) FEMALE CRASH TEST DUMMY DEVELOPER ANNA CARLSSON SAYING: "What we have done now is develop a dummy that's the size of an average woman which also moves, in a crash situation with the impact coming from behind." Before producing her model she tested women in a rigged-up car seat at low speeds. Most whiplash injuries occur at speeds of below 25 kilometres an hour. She conducted similar trials on men. Her investigation revealed distinct differences. SOUNDBITE (Swedish) FEMALE CRASH TEST DUMMY DEVELOPER ANNA CARLSSON SAYING: "We've seen, for example, that the back of a seat doesn't flex as much for the woman, which means that she'll start moving forward quicker and have a more rapid acceleration in that direction." After analysing initial results Carlsson's team produced a computational model called EvaRID to establish the average body type of a female. They then took a real test crash dummy - based on the male form - and adapted it accordingly. SOUNDBITE (Swedish) FEMALE CRASH TEST DUMMY DEVELOPER ANNA CARLSSON SAYING: "What we've done here, as you can see, is to cut off arms and legs. We've shortened them and carved out some of the interior to decrease the weight. Then we've pieced her back together. ... We've also shortened the spine and made the torso smaller and lighter. We've peeled off the rubber front of the head to reduce the weight." Comparing both dummies in tests, the female model demonstrated higher acceleration and quicker motion when hit from behind. Carlsson says this suggests women have greater motion in their spines than men, as well as different sized and angled vertebra. Part-funded by European Union project Adseat, Carlsson's dummy is still in the prototype stage. An improved version is planned. Carlsson hopes to persuade car-makers to incorporate the average body size of both sexes into their safety systems before producing all new vehicles.

Female crash test dummy takes wheel for women's whiplash

Monday, Oct 08, 2012 - 02:33

Top News »

Money »

Finding meaning in the S&P 500 2000 mark Finding meaning in the S&P 500 2000 mark

Mon, Aug 25, 2014 - (2:35)

S&P falls back from record high S&P falls back from record high

Fri, Aug 22, 2014 - (1:35)

S&P 500 closes at new high S&P 500 closes at new high

Thu, Aug 21, 2014 - (1:24)

S&P 500 just shy of record S&P 500 just shy of record

Wed, Aug 20, 2014 - (2:23)

Apple hits $100 a share Apple hits $100 a share

Tue, Aug 19, 2014 - (2:06)

Nasdaq closes at 14-year high Nasdaq closes at 14-year high

Mon, Aug 18, 2014 - (2:23)

Putin puts Wall Street in buying mood Putin puts Wall Street in buying mood

Thu, Aug 14, 2014 - (2:10)

We've become a promotional culture-RetailMeNot's Bodge We've become a promotional...

Thu, Aug 14, 2014 - (4:39)

Dow back to positive territory for year Dow back to positive territory for year

Wed, Aug 13, 2014 - (2:18)

The Exchange »

The Exchange: Hot commodity The Exchange: Hot commodity

Wed, Jul 16, 2014 - (9:25)

The Exchange: Constitutional crusade The Exchange: Constitutional crusade

Wed, Jun 25, 2014 - (11:35)

The Exchange: The value of money The Exchange: The value of money

Mon, Jun 02, 2014 - (9:53)

The Exchange: China’s Second Continent The Exchange: China’s Second Continent

Tue, May 27, 2014 - (9:35)

The Exchange: A master of business arts The Exchange: A master of business arts

Thu, May 08, 2014 - (8:24)

The Exchange: America's bankrupt cities The Exchange: America's bankrupt cities

Mon, May 05, 2014 - (8:52)

The Exchange: Let the rocking commence The Exchange: Let the rocking commence

Tue, Apr 08, 2014 - (8:13)

The Exchange: The Moneyball fallacies The Exchange: The Moneyball fallacies

Mon, Mar 24, 2014 - (9:54)

Is doing good a good business? Is doing good a good business?

Mon, Mar 17, 2014 - (7:38)

Reuters Investigates »

Re-homing victim: "I could have been dead" Re-homing victim: "I could have been dead"

Wed, Feb 19, 2014 - (8:24)

Cops and loggers in the Amazon rainforest Cops and loggers in the Amazon rainforest

Fri, Jan 10, 2014 - (4:01)

"Passed around like a dog" "Passed around like a dog"

Thu, Aug 29, 2013 - (6:32)

Adopted, then abandoned online Adopted, then abandoned online

Thu, Aug 29, 2013 - (13:21)

How the DEA keeps its secrets secret How the DEA keeps its secrets secret

Mon, Aug 05, 2013 - (1:36)

How education lost its role as the great equalizer - Reuters Investigates How education lost its role as the great...

Mon, Dec 17, 2012 - (7:52)

Jihad Jane: From abused child to American jihadist - Reuters Investigates Jihad Jane: From abused child to American...

Sat, Dec 08, 2012 - (10:01)

Jihad Jane: The order to kill - Reuters Investigates Jihad Jane: The order to kill - Reuters...

Sun, Dec 09, 2012 - (10:39)

Moving Pictures »

Mending dolls, teddies and hearts Mending dolls, teddies and hearts

Fri, Aug 22, 2014 - (3:12)

"Old timers" sail the Chesapeake Bay "Old timers" sail the Chesapeake Bay

Mon, Aug 11, 2014 - (2:27)

Burned memories Burned memories

Fri, Aug 08, 2014 - (3:02)

Images of July Images of July

Thu, Jul 31, 2014 - (1:20)

World Cup: passion on the pitch World Cup: passion on the pitch

Fri, Jul 11, 2014 - (1:00)

A refugee in America gives back A refugee in America gives back

Wed, Jul 02, 2014 - (3:25)

A long search for refuge A long search for refuge

Fri, Jun 20, 2014 - (3:04)

World Cup: Around the globe in 50 goals World Cup: Around the globe in 50 goals

Fri, Jun 06, 2014 - (1:08)

VIVID – Sydney’s spectacle of light VIVID – Sydney’s spectacle of light

Fri, May 30, 2014 - (1:37)