Why Are Women at Greater Risk of Injury from Car Crashes?

person holding black honda steering wheel

All drivers and passengers are vulnerable to auto accident injuries, but major disparities exist between men and women. Recent findings about female injuries in car accidents could hold significant implications for which vehicles women choose to drive. Key takeaways include the following:

Women Are More Susceptible in Frontal Crashes

Even when they wear seatbelts, women are more likely to be harmed in car crashes, with data from the University of Virginia suggesting 73 percent greater odds of injury. This is true even when controlling for collision severity, body mass index, and a variety of other factors.

The Role of Vehicle Selection

Data examined by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety suggests that men are more likely to crash while driving heavier vehicles, which may lend them a greater degree of protection. Meanwhile, most women drive smaller, lighter cars — and they’re more likely to occupy the struck vehicle in the event of a collision. Typically, the driver in the striking vehicle is better protected, particularly if they drive a large SUV or truck while hitting a smaller car.

Could Male-Focused Crash Tests Be to Blame?

A prominent hypothesis surrounding the prevalence of female car crash injuries: crash test dummies are more likely to represent male bodies. The typical test involves a dummy weighing 171 pounds and reaching a height of 5 foot 9 inches. As such, crash test dummies may not accurately reflect how forces exerted during collisions impact female occupants.

Safety Ratings Matter

The good news? Even if crash test dummies are tailored to men, these tests still make a difference for female drivers. Cars with solid safety ratings reduce the odds of injury for women — sometimes even more than they do for men.

If you were harmed in a negligence-related crash, look to the personal injury lawyers at Regan Zambri Long PLLC for help with securing the damages you deserve.