Sunday, May 18, 2008

Ladies: Push your seat away from the steering wheel

Women drivers are three times more likely than men to suffer whiplash injuries if their car is hit from behind, Swedish researchers say. Women's risk is increased because they generally sit closer to the steering wheel, the Umea University team said having studied data on 400 injuries.

They said crash-test dummies should better reflect women's figures and help influence seat design. The researchers looked at insurance company data on more than 400 whiplash injuries claimed for during the 1990s.

They also carried out their own studies into how more than 200 men and women adjusted their car seats and then how they sat as they drove and as they were stationary. They then compared the results from the human test with those from tests of a commonly used crash-test dummy, the BioRID, which is the same size as the average man or a large woman.

They concluded women's increased risk was partially due to them tending to sit higher and closer to the steering wheel and to have the seat back more upright. (BBC)

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