The Real Reason Why Cars Are More Dangerous for Women
August 23, 2023
Maria Weston Kuhn ’23CC had a truly terrifying experience on what should have been a perfect family getaway. While traveling in Ireland in December 2019, she survived a head-on collision when a distracted driver veered into the wrong lane on a country road. Her father and brother, sitting in the front of the rental car, were unharmed, while Kuhn and her mother, sitting in the back, suffered severe injuries. “My small intestine was ruptured by my seatbelt, and I required emergency surgery,” says Kuhn, who, after returning home to Maine, was forced to miss a semester of college. “I found out later that our injuries were not unique. Crashes affect women differently because car safety standards are tailored to men. It’s a form of gender discrimination that injures and kills thousands of women each year.”
Maria Weston Kuhn: Driving Toward a Safer Future for All
August 18, 2023
In the car with her family that cold winter morning in 2019, Maria Weston Kuhn had no idea how her world would change – or how she would change the world.
That day a distracted driver crashed into her family’s car head on, and Maria and her mother suffered severe injuries. Maria’s brother and father, however, came out of the crash unscathed. At the time, none of them realized that their fates were part of a larger pattern in which women are 73% more likely than men to be injured in the same frontal crash.
Like most Americans, Maria didn’t know these statistics when she suddenly became one of them – but she knows about them now, and she is determined to change them with her organization, Drive US Forward.
Lack of Gender Diversity in Crash Safety Testing Is Fatal for Women
August 8, 2023
12,039. That’s how many American women were killed in car crashes in 2021—the latest year that gender collision data was available.
12,039 women—nearly 33 women killed every day.
12,039 women—12 percent more than the year before.
12,039 women—a number more devastating knowing that many of their deaths may have been preventable. In other words, these women may have survived the same crash if they were men.
Drive US Forward Sends Petition with Over 18,800 Signatures
August 4, 2023
Dear Secretary Buttigieg, President Biden, and National Highway Trac Safety Administration Acting Administrator Ann Carlson,
We at Drive US Forward, along with our 18,800 petition signatories, call upon you to end the fatal gender discrimination in car safety testing. We implore you to adopt the THOR 5F accurate female crash test dummy into the New Car Assessment Program, and to test it in the driver’s seat in the New Car Assessment Program.
As you know, women are 17% more likely to be killed and 73% more likely to be severely injured in frontal car crashes than men. Because the National Highway Trac Safety Administration (NHTSA) doesn't crash test cars with accurate female dummies, cars are not designed to protect women. In fact, no female dummy is required to be tested in the driver's seat of the New Car Assessment frontal crashes at all. This injustice has fatal consequences – it kills 1,300 American women every year, and injures 466,000 more. These consequences are devastating and preventable.