(OPINION) ETH – Democratic Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D.C.) introduced legislation Tuesday that requires automobile companies to test car safety using crash test dummies modeled on both male and female bodies.

In addition to enhancing the safety of female drivers, the non-voting delegate representing the nation’s capital argued the move was necessary to advance “gender equality.” In a statement regarding the bill, Norton, who chairs the Subcommittee on Highways and Transit, argued, “Women have achieved equality on the road when it comes to driving, but when it comes to safety testing to keep them safe on the road, they are nowhere near achieving equality.”

“Crash test standards are incredibly antiquated, and we must update these standards now, especially as more people return to their daily commute in the next few months,” she added. In a news release, Norton’s office lamented the fact that the federal government only uses male crash test dummies and that private car companies are often not required by law to test safety using female models.


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In addition to height and weight differences, the news release noted that “there are also other biological differences in anatomy, such as average neck strength and posture, that affect how female and male bodies react in a crash.” “Since cars are not required to be tested with the safety of women in mind, women are at higher risk of injury and death in car crashes,” the release concluded. READ MORE

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