March 15, 2023
Equal Pay Day
Yesterday was #EqualPayDay. So what?
Equal Pay Day represents how far into 2023 women have to work to earn what white men did in 2022. The average American woman makes 77 cents for every dollar that white, non-Hispanic men make. The gender pay gap is even greater for many women of color – Black women make $0.64, Latina women make $0.54, Indigenous women make $0.51, and Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander women make $0.80 for every $1 made by white, non-Latino men. Worse yet, the gap has remained stable over the past 20 years.
So, what does this have to do with cars? Women buy 62% of cars sold in america — decisions that are dictated by income level, savings, and more. The gender pay gap is one reason that women (and especially women of color) are more likely than men to live in poverty. Women, on average, have lower earnings and savings than men, and purchase less expensive cars — often older and used.
A 2022 NHTSA study found that these older cars are significantly more dangerous for women than men. For example, female passengers in vehicles made between 1960 and 1966 are 27.9% more likely to die in a crash than men in the same car. Old cars are more dangerous because they have older safety features. Cars crashed with the two-point lap seatbelt, for example, are 31.1% more likely to be fatal for women than men.
Further, because of gender disparities in income, women are less likely to be able to invest in optional advanced safety features. Active head rests, for example, protect against whiplash in a collision. These are essential for adequate protection for women – female drivers are 44.7% more likely to suffer a neck injury than men. According to Forbes, safety technology packages add an extra $1,500-$2,500 to the cost of a car. Repairs to these advanced safer systems, like a front bumper, can cost up to $4,300. These costs, and the gender pay gap that makes them further out of reach, pose a significant barrier for many women who just want safe cars.
The effects of the gender data gap affect almost every aspect of a woman’s life, and car safety is no exception. Women, especially WOC, earn less than men for the same job, and are more likely to drive cars with out-of-date safety features. The gender pay gap is fatal, and women are paying the price. Sign our petition to tell Secretary Pete Buttigieg and President Biden that it’s time to put women in the driver’s seat.