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New study addresses why women fare worse in crashes than men

Overall, women are more likely to be seriously injured or killed in vehicle crashes than men. Some people have blamed the lack of crash test dummies that reflect women’s bodies and how they react to collisions.

A recently published study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) found that the reasons for the gender disparities in crash injuries can be explained by two factors. The IIHS researchers looked at front-to-side and front-to-rear crashes where at least one vehicle had to be towed over a 17-year period from 1998 to 2015.

The size and weight of the vehicle

One factor is the type of vehicle being driven. Women are more likely to drive smaller, lighter vehicles than men. People of both genders in the crashes studied were equally likely to be driving an SUV or minivan. However, women were 10% more likely to be in cars than men.

Meanwhile, men were more than 15% more likely to be driving a pickup truck. Men also tended to be in heavier vehicles, regardless of the type.

Who is responsible for the crash?

The second factor is that women are more likely to be driving the vehicle that’s struck in a crash than the vehicle that strikes another one. The IIHS team got that data from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS). Because drivers who are struck are more likely to be injured than those in the striking vehicle, that can account for some of the gender differential.

An official with IIHS notes that if you adjust for those two factors, “the difference in the odds of most injuries narrows dramatically.” She adds, “The good news is that changes like strengthening the occupant compartment and improving seat belts and airbags have helped protect both men and women.”

If you’ve been injured or a loved one has been killed in a crash caused by another driver, don’t settle for less than the compensation you need and deserve. Our firm provides the personalized service you need during a difficult time. Contact us at 912-289-0640.