Why do women suffer more in car crashes than men?

Some men still insist that men are better drivers than women. While it is, of course, down to each individual, studies show that women as a whole are safer drivers because they are less likely to take dangerous risks such as drunk driving or speeding.

The fact that 71% of people killed in crashes during 2017 were male appears to back this up. So what then explains the recent research by the University of Virginia that found women are 73% more likely to suffer a serious injury in a crash than men?

It’s down to vehicle design

Cars were traditionally built around the male body. This is probably down to there having been more men involved in the industry than women. Car designers seem to have overlooked the fact that the average female body is very different from that of the average male.

The crash test dummies were all male, too, so not only were cars built for men, but they were tested for the safety of men. This has changed somewhat over the past two decades, with female-specific crash test dummies also being used, but there may still be a general bias to design cars more toward the average male than the average female.

Why does gender matter?

While many modern cars come with a certain amount of adjustability of things such as seats and steering wheels, they can never fit everyone equally well. As men are generally taller than women and have muscle and fat distributed differently, what works for them may be less effective for a woman due to the body shape difference. The forces may fall on a different part of the body, and that body part may be less resistant.

Despite these differences in crash outcomes, the procedure for claiming compensation remains the same. Getting legal help to show the other driver was negligent will be crucial.


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