Why Women Are At a Greater Risk of Injury In a Car Accident

women driving carIn an instant, you or a loved one may find themselves in the unfortunate situation of being involved in an automobile accident. But, did you know that women are more likely to be injured or killed as a result of these accidents.

A new study done by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) found that women are much more likely to suffer a serious injury in a car accident than men. While men are involved in more deadly crashes than women, women are 20-28 percent more likely to be killed on a per- crash basis. They are also 37-73 percent more likely to be seriously injured after speed and other considerations are factored in.

Why is this? Many people often believe that it is just the physical make up of women versus men that is the reason for this discrepancy. But, researchers have found that this heightened risk is mostly due to the types of vehicles women drive and the circumstances of their crashes.

Women often drive smaller and lighter vehicles, while men choose pickup trucks and heavier vehicles. However, even when differing vehicle size is taken out of the equation and we compare similar compact vehicles, women were still twice as likely to be moderately injured and a bit more likely to be seriously hurt because of an accident.

Additionally, the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) found that women are less likely to be driving the striking vehicle. The individual driving the striking vehicle is at a lower risk of injury than the victim, and men are more likely than women to be the at fault driver.

The difference in injuries sustained by men and women may also be due to the way women’s bodies respond to forces of a crash. In front crashes, women are three times as likely as men to suffer a minor injury like a laceration or concussion. They are twice as likely to suffer a more severe injury such as traumatic brain injury or broken limbs.

In side crashes the chances of sustaining moderate injury is about equal for men and women. However, women are approximately fifty percent more likely to be seriously injured in a side crash.

Even with safety precautions, women are more susceptible to being injured. A study done by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that a female driver or front passenger who was wearing a seat belt is 17 percent more likely to be killed in a car crash compared to a male passenger.

crash dummyBefore 2011, all crash test dummies were designed after males. When a vehicle is designed according to the average male, women are forced to sit closer to the steering wheel, which increases their risk of leg and chest injuries.

Fortunately, both men and women have seen benefits from improved safety regulations and testing with female-sized dummies. These improvements include more effective airbags and better seat belts, which benefit both men and women equally.

If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident, call us today for a free consultation! PHONE CARDONE at 504-522-3333, 225-706-3920 (Baton Rouge office) or email us at ccardone@cardonelaw.com.

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