Women are more likely to get injured in a car crash. Partly because male crash test dummies are the standard. And even when a female dummy is being used, it’s often with a scaled-down male dummy. As a result, most cars are safer for men. Now, Volvo Cars wants to change this.
Volvo Cars’ Accident Research Team has compiled real-world crash data since the 1970s to better understand what happens during a collision - regardless of size, gender, or body shape. This has made it possible for Volvo to design its cars in a way that protects both men and women equally.
In a new global campaign by Forsman & Bodenfors called The E.V.A. Initiative (Equal Vehicles for All), Volvo Cars is for the first time making its safety knowledge easily accessible in a central digital library which it urges the car industry to use, in the interest of safer roads for all.
“As a woman stepping into a car, you just assume you are as well protected as a man,” says Sophia Lindholm, one of the creatives behind the campaign. “Unfortunately, this is not true in all cars — which is why Volvo wants to highlight this issue and actually do something about it” she continues.
The anatomical differences between men and women are crucial when it comes to injury rates in car crashes. Not only in terms of weight and height, but also muscle mass and strength.
“By collecting real-world data for a long time, it has been possible to identify what injuries arise in different accidents for men, women, and children,” says Dr. Lotta Jakobsson, senior technical specialist at Volvo Cars Safety Centre.
At the core of the campaign is the website where people can download the research and read more about the project and how Volvo Cars has implemented this research in the safety features in its cars. The campaign also includes outdoor, print, and a film directed by Laerke Herthoni together with production company New Land.
“60 years ago, we gave away the three-point safety belt; putting people first, profits second,” concludes Andreas Malm, head of marketing at Volvo Cars. ”By making our research available through the E.V.A. Initiative, we hope it will help more automakers to produce cars that are safe for everyone. Just like the safety belt did.”