Study: women are more vulnerable in front-end collisions than men

Ohio drivers should know that women are more vulnerable than men in car crashes. Their risk for injury is 73% higher in the most common kind of crash, which is the front-end collision. Women are twice as likely to incur injuries to the spine, abdomen and legs. This is according to a study published in a July 2019 issue of the bimonthly journal Traffic Injury Prevention.

The study covered over 22,000 front-end crashes and over 31,000 vehicle occupants, 50.6% of whom were women. The vehicles were divided into two categories: those made between 2009 and 2019, and those made before this period. There were 55% fewer injuries in the newer vehicles. These newer models were noted for their ability to reduce injuries to the skull, neck, abdomen and lower extremities.

Still, there is no question that women were more vulnerable even when they wore a three-point seatbelt. Part of the reason may be the lack of safety data that takes a woman's anatomical and physiological differences into account. Most crash tests use dummies modeled on men with female crash dummies being merely smaller versions of these. One automaker, Volvo, has decided to start collecting data that pertains to women. In the near future, it will share this data with other automakers.

Whether automakers can be considered negligent for failing to make cars safer for women is hard to say. Most motor vehicle accidents are due to negligent actions such as drowsy driving, distracted driving and speeding. The victim of another's negligence might be able to file an injury claim against the applicable auto insurance company. If successful, they may be covered for medical expenses, vehicle damage, lost wages and other applicable losses. An attorney could help a plaintiff through the negotiation stage.

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