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Volvo working to make cars safer for everyone

Did you know that if you're a man, your odds of surviving a car wreck without a serious injury are better than a woman's odds?

That's because vehicle safety features are designed around the average man. Those "crash test dummies" that you've seen in some car commercials are all based on male body sizes.

Well, Volvo wants to change that and make cars that are safe for everyone. Looking at research from car accidents that goes all the way back to the 70s, Volvo discovered that women are at a much higher risk of certain types of injuries in car accidents.

In particular, women are more likely to suffer whiplash and chest injuries. Since women tend to be shorter than men, they usually sit lower in vehicles in general -- and closer to the steering wheel. This leaves them without significant protection for their head, neck and chest areas.

It's been 60 years since the three-point safety harness -- which is now the standard safety restraint in all vehicles -- was designed by a Volvo engineer names Nils Bohlin. Now, Volvo is seeking to take the data it has gained over the last few decades and look at ways to make its vehicles safer for everyone -- including women drivers and men who don't fit the "average" standard of the crash test dummies that have been used for so long.

A vehicle's safety rating is often one of the major factors that influences purchase decisions among buyers. It's important to remember, however, that lab-tested safety conditions may not reflect real-world incidents.

If you've been in a car accident, your life can change in an instant. Ambulance bills, hospital bills, doctor bills, therapy bills and lost wages can all pile up. Find out what right you have to claim compensation for your losses.

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