VERITY NOW, a leading coalition voice on promoting equity in auto safety, released the following statement from Catherine McCullough, a transportation policy expert and VERITY NOW coalition member, regarding Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton’s announcement to introduce a bill to enhance vehicle safety for women by requiring government crash testing to include both male and female test dummies in the driver seat.
“We applaud Congresswoman Holmes Norton for her commitment to addressing the blatant gender inequities in auto safety testing. Government standards for vehicle crash testing are outdated and unequal, causing thousands of women to be needlessly killed and injured every year. This deadly gender bias in vehicle safety is unacceptable.
Females are not just smaller versions of males; due to differences in physiology and driver positioning, women’s and men’s bodies behave differently in a crash. These differences can prove deadly in vehicle design. As a result of only testing male dummies in the driver seat, women are 17% more likely to die and 73% more likely to be injured in a vehicle crash than men.
Our coalition members are eager to work with the Congresswoman and her staff to ensure this legislation accurately assesses this gender issue in auto safety and is quickly passed into law,” said McCullough.
Other members of Congress also raised concerns regarding gender bias in crash testing include Florida’s Rep. Gus M. Bilirakis, the top Republican on the House Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Commerce, and Illinois’s Rep. Jan Schakowsky, who chairs the House Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Commerce.
About VERITY NOW
VERITY NOW (Vehicle Equity Rules in Transportation) strives to achieve equity in vehicle safety by educating and advocating for crash testing standards that protect everybody, regardless of gender, height, weight, or age.
Inherent biases in crash testing put women, young people, the elderly, and heavier body types at significantly higher risk of injury or death in car crashes. This is unacceptable. Updates need to be made to vehicle crash testing standards and practices to understand better the safety needs of a broader range of body types. VERITY NOW is a group of organizations and individuals who share a common concern about these inequities and work with policymakers to implement change to save lives.