Association of occupant injury severity and gender
Over the past years, concern has been raised that women might not be adequately addressed in the development of passive safety for cars and the design of occupant restraint systems, like seat belts and airbags.
The current range of anthropomorphic test devices („crash test dummies“) used in crash testing was seen as part of the problem in this context. Some studies that analysed U.S. crashworthiness databases came to the conclusion that females have a higher risk of sustaining injuries of MAIS2+ severity than their male counterparts. The German Insurers Accident Research analysed data from their own database (UDB) to verify these findings for crashes and the vehicle fleet in Germany. Beside occupant gender, occupant age, seating position in the vehicle and the car’s mass and year of first registration were incorporated as variables and and their effect analysed with statistical methods. As a result, a smaller dependence of injury severity was found for the variable „gender“, depending on impact type. Instead, the variable of „seating position“, for instance, which was not included in some American studies demonstrated significant effects on injury severity.
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