The Equal Vehicles for All initiative is designed to make cars safe for everyone, not just 'the average male'. The car industry must recognise that some people are less safe than others when on the road. That's why Volvo are sharing over 40 years of research, testing and innovation in hope that all manufactrers will use to make safer cars.
1.3 Million people's lives are taken every year due to traffic incidents. That’s 250 people every hour, every day, day and night.
Women have double the risk of serious injury/death and 71% more chance of moderate injury on the road compared to males. This is due to the standard test dummy being based on the average male throughout the industry.
When a woman steps into a car, she assumes she is safe. Yet car manufacturers to this day are still producing cars using data collected from these male crash test dummies. This does not represent how the average female body would react in a collision, but not in a Volvo. Our Accident Research Team have been collecting real world data from every crash in Sweden since 1970, over 43,000 crashes involving over 72,000 occupants have been analysed. They found that men and women appear equally in the results and believe this should be reflected in testing.
Since 1995 Volvo started using small female crash dummies, then a mid-sized model in the early 2000s. These dummies were not scaled down versions of the males, but a completely redesigned model based on "anthropometry based on real female data"
Due to vast differences in anatomy between men and women, Volvo's seats are designed to protect both the head and spine of men and women together, along with the unique whiplash protection system or 'WHIPS' Volvo now say it no longer sees a difference in whiplash risks between women and men. Volvo also designed SIPS (side impact protection system) to cover the entire window thus protecting the generally smaller woman who naturally sit lower and closer to the steering wheel in a car.
Volvo have also created the world’s first virtual pregnant crash test dummy, Linda, that has provided accurate information to how pregnant women should wear seatbelts. Linda represents the average female in her 36th week (9th month) of pregnancy and started collecting data in early 2002 and shows in huge detail how safety belts, airbags and steering wheels interact with pregnant women in a crash situation.
“Our research shows that the best protection for pregnant women and their unborn babies is for the mother to wear her three-point safety belt, and to wear it properly. This reduces the foetal injury risk significantly,” - Lotta Jakobsson, Senior Child Safety Specialist at Volvo (Pictured far right/below)
Swedish culture and values remain at the heart of everything Volvo do and has done since founded in 1927.
"Omtanke" is a Swedish word that describes mindset. A word that means to care, to consider and to think again, to adopt human centric, honest and selfless attitudes. This was first apparent in 1959 after the invention of the seat belt, where the design and patent was opened and shared across the world, free-of-charge, as a pose to using the invention as a money making tool. To this day it's estimated that the seatbelt has saved well over 1 million lives. The invention of the catalytic converter in 1976, was made free by Volvo to all car makers and is now fitted to nearly all the world's cars, reducing CO2 emissions by around 90%
The E.V.A initiative is a collection of research and data behind the development of Volvo's innovations since the 1950s. It consists of over 100 research papers that Volvo encourage other car makers, to download, utilise and impliment in their designs to make all vehicles safe.
Making cars safer for everyone is as simple at taking a selfie and using the #SELFIEFORSAFETY tag.
Everyone can contribute
Whatever seat you are sitting in, take a photo of yourself with your seatbelt on.
Whether you're the passenger or in the back, you can get involved, but if you’re in the driver seat, make sure the car is turned off and safely parked.
Upload the photo to your Instagram feed. Make sure to use the #SELFIEFORSAFETY hashtag as well as tagging @volvocars in the post.