The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C. Articles Who Is Most Likely to Be Injured in an Auto Accident? - St. Louis Attorneys

Who Is Most Likely to Be Injured in an Auto Accident? - St. Louis Attorneys

By Christopher Hoffmann  Sep. 26, 2019 7:31p

New data in car safety research confirms a theory that has first been published in 2011: women are more likely than men to be seriously or fatally injured during a car crash.

The University of Virginia research team first noticed this when researching car safety for a paper in 2011, and the results showed that women are almost 50% more likely to get fatality or badly injured. Surprisingly, the results of a second paper, published in July 2019, show the same tendency and an even bigger discrepancy, with women being 73% more likely to get injured, even when wearing seatbelts.

The Research

So how exactly did the scientists get to that conclusion? The 2011 study has analyzed information on over 40,000 victims who suffered car accident injuries over the past 11 years. The data was provided by the NHTSA (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) and it contained various details, from the position of the victim, proximity to the steering wheel, demographics, etc.

Even though females were more times behind the wheel than the men and they were wearing seatbelts, they were still more susceptible to injury. The research team’s conclusion was that factors like the smaller stature, physiological differences in musculature and bone structure, sitting posture were all contributing to poorer performance of the car’s standard safety features. A major factor influencing this result could be the fact that seat belts and other features were designed referencing the male standard body proportions.

Another study, published this year, analyzed the probability of injury for belted occupants of cars involved in frontal collisions. The good news brought by this study is that newer car models have drastically reduced the probability of serious injury to certain body parts, like lower extremities or skull. And yet, females were still found to be more likely to get injured.

What Are the Causes of the Gender correlation with the Probability of Getting Injured?

As mentioned in both studies, one of the main causes of this gender distribution is the fact that seat belts and other safety features were designed for male occupants. Crash test dummies were modeled after a standard male body for a long time in the history of automobile manufacturing. Female crash test dummies were introduced in the past decades, and virtual simulations are technologically capable of giving accurate results, but female car safety research remains inconclusive as long as it is not backed by serious classic research.

Other obvious reasons behind this result are that women and men are biomechanically different. Women are often secreting hormones that relax the ligaments in their bodies (for example, during pregnancy) and they have a more vulnerable structure altogether when it comes to this type of trauma. So, are these the reasons women are risking more when in a car?

The truth of the matter is, no one has really been able to isolate a clear cause of this gender difference incar accident fatalities. But with research like this bringing such worrisome results, we can hope that there will be more dedicated studies to analyze the issue.

What Should You Do If You've Been Hurt in a Car Crash

Although cars are getting safer than ever before and science is moving in the right direction, accidents can still happen. If you've been hurt in a car crash, get in touch with a St. Louis auto accident attorney as soon as possible. You have the right to receive compensation and a good lawyer can help you get justice.

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