Motor vehicle accidents can affect anyone at any time, but recent studies show that women are more vulnerable to serious injuries than men. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety notes that nearly 75% of women involved in crashes suffer serious or life-altering injuries and are 30% more likely to die in these wrecks.
Despite these troubling statistics, women who get behind the wheel may reduce the risk of serious injury or death by understanding what puts them at such a high risk.
Women who drive smaller cars in contrast with an SUV or heavier four-door vehicle may run a greater risk of injury or death because of the average weight of the vehicle when compared to other vehicles involved in an accident. Additionally, women behind the wheel of smaller cars are more likely to experience major injuries during a side-impact or head-on wreck.
Type of crash
Front-end wrecks, which include direct head-on collisions, seem to impact women more than men. Such an accident can cause a variety of injuries, including:
- Internal bleeding
- Organ damage
- Brain injuries
Data for test crashes shows that side-impact wrecks did not yield the same results and that the risk of injury to both women and men was nearly equal.
Driver vs. passenger
Women may suffer more serious injuries when they are behind the wheel compared to passengers in both the front and rear seats. This may account for the number of leg injuries experienced by women drivers, as they likely tense up in the moments before impact.
Some crash testing programs seek to lower the risk of injuries to women with improvements to vehicle safety and lower the overall risk of fatalities as well.