Cars: Safety

Department for Transport written question – answered at on 31 May 2022.

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Photo of Jim Shannon Jim Shannon Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Human Rights), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Health)

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, whether he is taking steps with car manufacturers to ensure that crash tests equally assess the impact of crashes on women as well as men.

Photo of Trudy Harrison Trudy Harrison Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport)

The majority of detailed technical requirements for vehicle construction are regulated at an international level through the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE). The Department for Transport is an active member and vehicle manufacturers also participate.

The expert group with responsibility for crash safety has already agreed changes to the UNECE regulations on frontal impact protection to include the use of crash test dummies representative of a small female occupant. In due course, this should encourage the use of smart restraint systems capable of delivering more consistent injury outcomes, irrespective of gender. The same expert group continues to collate data to establish what more might be needed at a regulatory level.

The Department for Transport also remains a member of the European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP), which provides objective information to motorists on the crash safety of cars. The rating programme also includes crash tests using dummies representative of female occupants.

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