Women More Likely to Be Injured in Car AccidentsPublished: Nov 6, 2019 in Auto Accident, Personal Injury
Research on the impact of motor vehicle accidents on passengers of both sexes yielded some surprising results. When women and men are involved in a serious car accident, females are significantly more likely to be injured or killed. The most recent study from the University of Virginia found the risk of serious injury and death to women to be a staggering 73 percent higher than their male counterparts. This safety gap has a lot to do with the basic anatomical and biological differences between the sexes.
Research on How the Body Withstands Impact
To better understand how car accidents impact the male and female body, the University of Virginia Center for Applied Biomechanics evaluated crash records for nearly 29,000 front-end wrecks reported to police between 1998 and 2015. They included controls for the vehicle’s make and model and the passenger’s age, height, weight, and body-mass index.
Women were seriously injured or killed more often than men, especially in head-on collisions, even while wearing seat belts. Females suffered more lower-body injuries in the spine, legs, and abdomen at double the rate of men in similar types of wrecks.
Body Differences and Crash Injuries
One of the reasons we are just beginning to understand the greater risk to women in a crash is because until recently, automobile crash tests were conducted with male dummies in the seats. Because male crash test dummies were taller and heavier than the average female, the impact to their bodies may not accurately represent how a woman would withstand a crash.
Woman generally do not sit in the average seating position intended by auto manufacturers. Generally smaller in stature, they tend to sit closer to the steering wheel to look over the dash. This simple and subtle difference makes them more vulnerable to internal injuries in a head-on wreck.
Differences in tissue and fat distribution throughout the body influences their injury rate as well. Additionally, because of where women’s bodies rest in most auto seats, they are less likely to benefit from the protection offered by standard seat belts. Researchers further speculate that mechanical differences in bones, ligaments, and hormonal changes might play a role, but caution that more work needs to be done to confirm these links.
Safety is Improving
There is some good news for men and women, however. The study found that overall, newer model cars are safer than ever for both sexes. All riders are half as likely to be injured in cars built after 2009 and with the addition of female crash test dummies, women can feel more confident their newer vehicle was designed and tested with their needs in mind.
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If you were in a wreck that caused your injuries or resulted in property damage, you may have reason to bring a claim for damages. The Edwardsville car wreck lawyers at Cates Mahoney, LLC will review your case and hold the party responsible for your injuries accountable.
Whether your accident was the result of a careless driver, an unsafe auto device, or poor road conditions, help is available. Located in Swansea, Illinois, we serve clients throughout Belleville, Carbondale, East St. Louis, Granite City, Edwardsville, Chester, Waterloo, St. Louis, Madison County, St. Clair County, Monroe County, and Randolph County. To schedule your free initial consultation, call us at 618-277-3644 or use the online contact form.