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Why do women face higher risks of serious injuries from crashes?

On Behalf of | Mar 29, 2023 | Blog, Motor Vehicle Accidents |

The vast majority of Ohio motorists try to drive as safely as possible to avoid car accidents. However, they can still happen and lead to catastrophic results. It has been found that women carry a much higher risk of serious injuries in these types of incidents.

Discrepancies between men’s and women’s injury rates

A study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety revealed that women are more likely to sustain injuries in car accidents than men. One of the reasons for this is that they are usually smaller and shorter than men, which leaves them at a disadvantage when a collision occurs; as certain areas of women’s bodies are more likely to be impacted and injured.

Women are also more likely to choose small, compact vehicles compared to men, who gravitate more often toward bigger, bulkier SUVs or pickup trucks. Smaller vehicles are shorter, which puts the occupants at much greater risk when there are so many more large vehicles on the roads than ever.

One problem lies with crash test dummies

In addition to issues uncovered by the IIHS, another problem causes women to be at a higher risk of serious injuries in car accidents. The safety features found in newer vehicles are put to the test using crash test dummies that don’t reflect female characteristics. The dummies are built with men’s sizes in mind; on average, they weigh around 170 pounds and stand 5’9″ tall. The average women’s height is 5’4″, so in a real-world accident, a woman could suffer more catastrophic injuries such as those affecting the lower body.

These findings are also surprising considering that men generally take more risks behind the wheel than do women. However, their vehicle choice offers greater protection, which combined with better safety feature testing using male crash test dummies appears to prioritize their safety over women’s.

Car accidents can have devastating results even if you take precautions. Women can minimize their risks by choosing bulkier vehicles.