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Female Drivers at Greater Risk for Injuries in Car Crashes | Daytona Beach Personal Injury Attorney

Female Drivers at Greater Risk for Injuries in Car Crashes

Women drivers are more susceptible to injuries in car crashes than men, even when wearing seat belts, according to a new national study.

According to researchers, the lack of safety designs in vehicles tailored to women may be at fault. 

Researchers analyzed national crash data from 1998 to 2008 to determine the role of driver gender as a predictor of injury outcome when involved in a crash.

The population sample used for this study was 43 percent female, with an average age of 36 years, with 11 percent being older than 60 years.

The breakdown in crashes for this study was

  • passenger cars at 67 percent
  • SUVs at 15 percent
  • light trucks at 11 percent
  • vans at 6 percent.

Researchers say this study suggests that women drivers wearing seat belts are more susceptible to injuries compared with men wearing seat belts when involved in a comparable motor vehicle crash.

Previous studies have investigated the differences in the way men and women drive, but Dipan Bose and Jeff Crandall of the University of Virginia and Maria Segui-Gomez of Navarra University in Spain, found the male-centric design of safety measures is a major factor.

The positioning of head restraints, for example, fails to take account of the size and strength of women’s necks.
Women involved in crashes also exhibited a higher risk of chest and spine injuries compared with their male counterparts in comparable crashes.

A higher risk of lower extreme injuries was reported for female drivers in this study as a result of their relatively short stature, their preferred seating posture and a combination of these factors, which yielded lower safety protection from the standard seat belt devices used.

“Female motor vehicle drivers today may not be as safe as their male counterparts,” the study‘s authors conclude. “Therefore, the relative higher vulnerability of female drivers …when exposed to moderate and serious crashes must be taken into account.”

To address the disparity, researchers suggest that policies and vehicle regulations must focus on effective safety designs that are specifically tailored toward women for equity in injury reduction.

For more on traffic safety issues, see the library of articles by Daytona Beach car accident attorney.

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