A new report from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has found that women are at a greater risk of suffering serious injury compared to men in motor vehicle crashes. The study has found that the increased risk is due to the types of vehicles women drive and the circumstances surrounding the accidents and not the physical differences between women and men.
The study from the IIHS, along with supporting data, shows that men are involved in more fatal crashes than women. Despite this, women are 20-28 percent more likely to die in a motor vehicle crash than men. Women are also 37-73 percent more likely to suffer serious bodily injury compared to men in motor vehicle accidents after adjusting for speed and various other factors.
“Our study shows that today’s crash testing programs have helped women as much as men,” says Jessica Jermakian, IIHS vice president of vehicle research and one of the study’s authors. “That said, we found that women are substantially more likely to suffer leg injuries, which is something that will require more investigation.”
When researchers from the IIHS removed those comparisons and focused more on similar accidents, the team discovered that the discrepancies disappeared. The team also discovered that the improvements made to vehicles have benefited men and women either less or more equally.
“The numbers indicate that women more often drive smaller, lighter cars and that they’re more likely than men to be driving the struck vehicle in side-impact and front-into-rear crashes,” Jermakian said. “Once you account for that, the difference in the odds of most injuries narrows dramatically.”
Data analyzed for the study
The IIHS used crash data from 1998-2015 involving accidents reported by the police that resulted in one or more vehicles being towed away from the scene. The car accidents were labeled as front and side impact crashes.
The results from the study are as follows:
- In frontal crashes, women were three times as likely to suffer a moderate injury (concussion or broken bone) as men.
- In frontal crashes, women were two times as likely as men to suffer a serious injury (traumatic brain injury or collapsed lung).
- In side crashes, the odds of suffering a moderate injury were almost identical between women and men.
- In side crashes, women were 50 percent more likely to suffer a serious injury compared to men.
Data mined from the federal Fatality Analysis Reporting System discovered that in front or side crashes involving two vehicles, men were more likely to be the driver of the striking vehicle. The driver of a striking vehicle is less likely to suffer an injury compared to the driver of a vehicle that was struck. The IIHS study concluded that this could help explain the difference between injury chances for women when compared to men.
“The good news is that changes like strengthening the occupant compartment and improving seat belts and airbags have helped protect both men and women,” Jermakian said. “Homing in on the risk disparities that still exist in compatible crashes gives us a great opportunity to make further gains.”
Did you suffer injuries in a Knoxville car accident? You deserve to be compensated for your injuries if they were caused by another driver. Once you have been medically evaluated, be sure to speak with an experienced Knoxville car accident attorney from Banks & Jones. Call our office at 865-546-2141, or complete a contact form today to schedule a consultation.
T. Scott knows the importance of interacting with colleagues to stay abreast of developments and changes in the legal world. T. Scott frequently teaches CLE courses on trial strategy, teaching other lawyers his methods for success in the courtroom, and is certified as a Rule 31 Mediator in the Tennessee Supreme Court. He is a member of the Knoxville Bar Association, the Tennessee Bar Association, the National Trial Lawyers, and both the Tennessee and American Associations for Justice.
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