Jul 10, 2019

Volvo takes the lead on female safety

A digital representation of a virtual female crash test dummy. Photo: Volvo Cars

Volvo Cars is taking the gender safety gap seriously. In March, the Swedish carmaker announced it will share 40 years of safety research with other automakers as part of its E.V.A. Initiative, or Equal Vehicles for All.

Why it matters: Cars should protect everyone — not just the average male, says Volvo, which has been redesigning some of its cars' safety systems to better protect women based on its own evidence that women are at higher risk for injury than men.

The backdrop: Volvo has been collecting and analyzing real-world crash data since 1970.

  • The information gathered from more than 40,000 cars and 70,000 passengers led to many of the safety innovations Volvo has introduced since then.

Details: Because women's anatomy puts them at higher risk of whiplash than men, Volvo designed a new seat to protect both the head and spine. The company says it no longer sees a difference in whiplash risk between men and women.

  • Volvo also made its side curtain airbags cover the entire window to protect smaller women who sit lower and closer to the steering wheel.
  • The company also developed the world's first virtual pregnant crash test dummy to study how a woman and her fetus are affected in a crash.
"What it comes down to is not designing for a test, but designing for the real world."
— Volvo Cars spokesman Jim Nichols

Go deeper: The gender gap in car safety leaves women at risk

Go deeper

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 8:30 p.m. ET: 5,490,954 — Total deaths: 345,962 — Total recoveries — 2,228,915Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 8:30 p.m. ET: 1,662,250 — Total deaths: 98,218 — Total recoveries: 379,157 — Total tested: 14,604,942Map.
  3. World: Italy reports lowest number of new cases since February — Ireland reports no new coronavirus deaths on Monday for the first time since March 21 — WHO suspends trial of hydroxychloroquine over safety concerns.
  4. 2020: Trump threatens to move Republican convention from North Carolina — Joe Biden makes first public appearance in two months.
  5. Public health: Officials are urging Americans to wear masks over Memorial Day.
  6. Economy: New York stock exchange to reopen its floor on Tuesday — White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett says it's possible the unemployment rate could still be in double digits by November's election — Charities refocus their efforts to fill gaps left by government.
  7. What should I do? Hydroxychloroquine questions answeredTraveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

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Updated 15 mins ago - Politics & Policy

In photos: Authorities issue warning as Americans venture out for Memorial Day weekend

Ocean City in New Jersey on May 25. Photo: Donald Kravitz/Getty Images

Authorities urged Americans to maintain social distancing and wear masks to protect against the spread of the novel coronavirus amid reports of packed beaches and bars during the Memorial Day weekend.

Details: Law enforcement stepped up beach patrols, and there were crowded scenes in several places, notably at Lake of the Ozarks bars in Missouri and at Daytona Beach and on the Gulf Coast in Florida, per AP. Police dispersed crowds in some places, ABC notes. But many Americans did take precautions against COVID-19 as they ventured outside for the long weekend, some three months after the pandemic began in the U.S.

Coronavirus stay-at-home orders crater voter registration efforts

A volunteer looks for persons wanting to register to vote on July 4, 2019 in Santa Fe, N.M. Photo: Robert Alexander/Getty Images

The coronavirus pandemic is scuppering usual "get out the vote" efforts, leading to fears that large swaths of Americans could miss out on this year's elections.

What’s happening: Advocacy groups typically target college campuses, churches, festivals, fairs and other gatherings to seek out people who have yet to register, but many of those places are now closed. Voter registration efforts have largely moved to the internet, but advocates question whether that will be as effective as the person-to-person pitch.