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DC House Democrat wants females better represented in car crash safety tests


DC’s Democratic House delegate calls for male AND female dummies to be used in crash tests to ensure ‘gender equality’

  • Washington, DC Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton is introducing a bill requiring that crash test dummies be modeled on both male and female bodies
  • Norton is a non-voting member of the House of Representatives
  • She also chairs the House Subcommittee of Highways and Transit
  • In a press release from her office, Norton blames ‘antiquated’ crash test standards for putting females ‘at higher risk of injury’ in car accidents 
  • Data from the NHTSA found female drivers or front-seat passengers are 17% more likely to be killed than their male counterparts in car crashes

DC Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, the non-voting House Democrat representing the nation’s capital, is calling on federal regulators to use male and female crash test dummies to ensure gender ‘equality’. 

Norton announced she is introducing a bill to require that crash test dummies be modeled on both male and female bodies. 

‘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,’ Norton said. 

DC Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton, the non-voting House Democrat representing the nation’s capital, is calling on federal regulators to use male and female crash test dummies to ensure gender ‘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.’ 

The capital’s lone representative is also chair of the House Subcommittee of Highways and Transit.

In a press release posted to her website, Norton’s office called out the federal government’s exclusive use of ‘male bodies’ in designing crash test dummies. 

There is no federal requirement for car companies to ‘use dummies modeled on female bodies either,’ the statement read.

It went on to highlight the many anatomical differences between men and women – such as average height, neck strength and posture, and how their bodies respond to crashes – as factors that are not considered when weighing a vehicle against existing safety standards.

‘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,’ Norton’s office claims.

Recent data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that female drivers or front-seat passengers are 17 percent more likely to be killed than males in car crashes.

One of the NHTSA's standard weights for adult female crash test dummies is 97 pounds - just 19 pounds heavier than their representation of a 10-year-old child.

One of the NHTSA’s standard weights for adult female crash test dummies is 97 pounds – just 19 pounds heavier than their representation of a 10-year-old child.

The same federal regulating body, a part of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg’s department, uses female dummies in the 5th percentile of adult women – 4’11’ and 108 pounds- in tests. 

The average American woman is nearly 5’3′ and weighs about 170 lbs, according to CDC data from January 2021.  

They also have an even lighter option weighing in at 97 pounds, less than 20 pounds heavier than their dummy simulating a 10-year-old child.

The male dummies used by the NHTSA are both 5’9′ and weigh 171 and 160 pounds respectively. 

The House Democrat’s push for gender reform comes amid a party-wide effort by lawmakers to promote gender equality under the Biden administration. 

A bid to grant statehood to DC and likely voting rights for Norton failed in Congress earlier this year when West Virginia Democratic Senator Joe Manchin came out against the legislation. 

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