Volvo's EVA Initiative aims to make cars safer for women and children

Volvo Project EVA
Image credit: Volvo Cars (Image credit: Volvo Cars)

Some people are safer than others on the road. That's because, even in 2019, many car makers use data based on crash test dummies based on the average man. To help solve that problem and make driving equally safe for everyone, Volvo is sharing its database of real-world crash data with the whole industry.

Volvo has been gathering data from actual car accidents since the 1970s to find out what happens to real people in a crash  –  men, women and children.

Its researchers have discovered that women are at higher risk of whiplash in an accident than men due to different anatomy and body strength. They're also more likely to suffer chest injuries, and their shorter average height means they sit lower in the car and closer to the steering wheel, which calls for different head protection.

Safer for everyone

The launch of the EVA Intiative marks 60 years since Volvo engineer Nils Bohlin invented the three-point safety belt, which is now standard in all cars.

“We have data on tens of thousands of real-life accidents, to help ensure our cars are as safe as they can be for what happens in real traffic,” says Lotta Jakobsson, professor and senior technical specialist at Volvo Cars Safety Center.

“This means our cars are developed with the aim to protect all people, regardless of gender, height, shape or weight, beyond the ‘average person’ represented by crash test dummies.”

Cat Ellis

Cat is the editor of TechRadar's sister site Advnture. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better)