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Study: Women have a higher risk of injury in car accidents

Driving has become one of the most normal activities of adult life. And yet, getting behind the wheel every day is one of the most dangerous things that individuals do in their lifetime.

Roughly 1.2 million people are killed in car crashes each year. That number alone displays the risk that comes with driving. However, the risks that car crashes pose are not necessarily the same for every driver.

Vehicle safety measures often fail to protect women

According to several studies over the years, vehicle safety measures do not provide equal protection for the sexes. One of the most recent studies conducted by the University of Virginia found that women are 73% more likely to suffer a serious injury or fatality in a car crash than men are. This is true even when women wear seatbelts.

Rightfully, this leaves many Kentuckians wondering: why?

One of the primary reasons for this is that auto manufacturers and safety regulators do not properly test for women’s safety. The crash test dummies that auto manufacturers use to test the effects of an accident have flawed designs:

  • Male crash test dummies reflect about 50% of the male population, proportion-wise; but
  • Female crash test dummies only reflect about 5% of the average female population in height and weight.

Generally, this means that vehicle safety designs likely protect men more effectively than women.

What can women do to stay safe?

Thankfully, the University of Virginia study found that newer car models protect all drivers against injuries better.

However, it will still be some time before manufacturers and safety regulators will have effective female crash test dummies to ensure women’s safety. So, women must take their safety into their own hands. They should ensure that they:

  • Always keep their full attention on driving;
  • Prevent the chance of any distractions behind the wheel; and
  • Drive defensively at all times.

Taking measures to stay safe behind the wheel is always critical, but it is especially important to help ensure safety on Kentucky roads, no matter what.